Organization responsible for the statistics

The statistics are collected by the Sections de l'Inspection du travail. They are compiled by the Direction départementale du travail, the Direction régionale du travail and the Administration centrale of the Ministère du Travail (Section des études et de la statistique). This latter organization is also responsible for publishing the data.

Objectives and users

Not available.


Strikes and lockouts

The statistics cover: Work stoppages initiated by employers, working to rule, go-slows and overtime bans are not included.

Minimum threshold The product of the duration and the number of workers involved should be at least one workday.

Economic activities

Agriculture and the Civil Service are not covered.


Workers directly involved and workers indirectly involved. In addition to regular paid employees, including part-time workers, the statistics cover temporary, casual and seasonal workers. Unpaid family workers, workers laid off and workers absent on sick or annual leave or absent for any other reason are not included.

No particular occupational group is excluded.

Geogrpahic areas

Whole country.

Types of data collected

Information on the duration, the matter in dispute, the types of action, methods of settlement, trade unions involved, etc. is collected by another directorate, and does not form part of the monthly compilation of data. However, it appears in the annual report.

Concepts and definitions

Labour dispute (conflit du travail)

All voluntary and collective work stoppages, whatever be their duration, the number of employees taking part or the cause. In the statistics, the dispute represents the strike (a continuous work stoppage) or the débrayage (a discontinuous work stoppage).

Generalized strike (conflit généralisé)

A work stoppage following a call to strike from outside the enterprise or its establishments, if it comprises more than one.

Localized strike (conflit localisé)

A work stoppage following a call to strike from within one or more establishments.

For statistical purposes these definitions come from Circular No. 50 of 23.10.1970, Circular No. TE/18 of 5.5.1975 (the distinction between generalized and localized strikes) and Circular No. 19 of 6.12.1982 of the Ministère du Travail.

Methods of measurement

Strikes and lockouts

The basic unit of measurement used to record a strike is the work stoppage in an economic unit: the establishment in the case of localized strikes, the enterprise for generalized strikes. The continuation of a strike that is interrupted but later resumes, still due to the same case of dispute, is considered to be the same strike, but only if the interruption does not last longer than 48 consecutive hours on working days.

Work stoppages arising from the same case of dispute, occurring simultaneously or at different times in different establishments of the same or different enterprises are counted as separate strikes for each of the establishments involved, in the case of localized strikes, or as one strike for all the establishments or enterprises involved in the case of a generalized strike. However, if the stoppages occur at different times in the same establishment and due to the same case of dispute, they are counted as separate strikes if the period between them is 48 consecutive hours or more, on working days.

Economic units involved

For localized strikes, the economic unit is the establishment; for generalized strikes it is the enterprise. The information concerning the economic unit involved is equivalent to the information concerning the strike, in the case of localized strikes. No information is collected on economic units involved in generalized strikes.

Workers involved

The number of workers involved is the maximum number of workers that took part during the course of the stoppage, even if some workers participated for only part of the duration. Part-time workers are counted as individuals on the same basis as full-time workers.


The duration is measured in workdays, from the date on which the strike began to the date it terminated in the economic unit concerned.

Time not worked

Total time not worked is measured each month in workdays, by multiplying the number of workers involved between the first and last days of the month by the number of days of strike during the same period. Time not worked is measured for workers involved, whether directly or indirectly. The shorter working hours of part-time workers are taken into account, but there is no fixed method for this; the Inspection du travail relies on employers' declarations. Overtime is not taken into account.


Cause of dispute

Method of settlement

Branch of economic activity

Data for localized strikes only are classified according to the NAP40, for 38 groups. Only the number of days not worked is classified in this way on a monthly basis. Generalized strikes are not classified according to branch of economic activity; it is not possible to determine the number of strikers in each branch.

Size of economic units involved

(number of employees; localized strikes only)


Reference period and periodicity

The statistics are compiled and published for periods of a month and a year. The information on the number of strikes, the number of economic units involved, the number of workers involved and the amount of time not worked relates only to strikes beginning during the specific reference period. The data on the duration and other characteristics of strikes cover both strikes beginning during the specific reference period and those continuing from the previous period.

Analytical measures

Historical background of the series

Not available.


Series available

Not available.

Bibliographic references

Ministère du Travail: Bulletin mensuel de statistiques du travail (monthly);

Idem: Travail et Emploi (Bilan annuel de la conflictualité) (annual).

Data published by the ILO

The number of strikes, the number of workers involved and the number of days not worked with regard to localized strikes and generalized strikes, for all activities together. The number of days not worked for localized strikes are classified by economic activity.


Not available.

International standards

Not available.

Methods of data collection

There is no legal obligation to report the occurrence of a strike.

The Inspecteurs du travail are responsible for identifying strikes in their areas, and for filling in a detailed form for each strike. Other administrative bodies, which learn of strikes by various means, particularly through the local and national press, also inform the Inspecteurs du travail of strikes that they may have missed.