29 December 2010

Strikes At All Time Low In 2009, Close in 2010

I previously posted about the scarcity of strikes in the American labor movement through 2008. But, I hadn't seen the 2009 and 2010 figures then.

In 2009, there were just 5 work stoppages involving 1,000 or more workers that involved just 13,000 workers, compared to 15 stopages involving 72,000 workers in 2008. The 2008 figures were an all time low as long as anyone has kept accurate figures. The 2009 figures are far lower - a third as many major strikes involving less than a fifth as many workers.

The have been 8 work stoppages involving 1,000 or more workers involving 43,000 workers through November in 2010 (half in the public sector and half in the private sector), which is more than in 2009, but is on track to be less than in 2008 and all prior years on record. No strikes involving 1,000 or more workers were in progress in the United States as December began, and I haven't noticed any in the news, although I could have missed one or two and there are still a couple of days left in the year.

I suspect that you would have to go back to before 1900 to find a year with that few work stoppages, even in absolute numbers, and one would probably have to go back well into the 19th century to find that a level of work stoppages that low relative to the size of the labor force.

No comments: