Transport and communication workers ‘among most likely to strike last year’

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Transport, storage, information and communication workers were by far the most likely to go out on strike in the second half of last year, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.

The ONS said that of the nearly 2.5 million working days that were lost to strikes between June and December, 79% came from workers in those sectors.

The group, which includes rail and postal workers among others, consistently had the highest number of days lost to strikes every month.

The second highest number of strike days over the period was in the education sector, which includes everything from primary school to universities.

Strikes in this sector peaked last November when 174,000 days were lost as primary and secondary school teachers in Scotland went out on strike and there were sixth form and college walkouts in England.

Education workers accounted for 38% of the total number of hours lost that month.

The data from the ONS also showed that Northern Ireland was the most likely to lose workers to strike days.

Across the region 129 days were lost per 1,000 employs over six months, followed by the North West at 105 days and Scotland on 99 days.

The number of days lost were highest in December in all regions of the UK apart from Northern Ireland, which saw more strikes in August.

The ONS also found that there had not been a large negative impact on how much consumers spent and where they spent it during December and early January due to strikes.

This comes despite heavy industrial action on the railways.

“Although consumers could not travel on many parts of the rail network on strike days, total spend on travel only decreased slightly on these dates,” it said.

“Subcategories of travel spending show some evidence that rail spending tended to decrease on days where there were rail strikes, with these decreases met with increased spending on buses and taxis.

“This could indicate displacement behaviour where people changed their travel mode from trains to buses or taxis to lessen the disruption caused by strikes (although this pattern of behaviour would have also been affected by Christmas).”

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