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News News New ABS data show disputes low in WA

Simone McGurk, Secretary UnionsWA has commented on today’s release of new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics that show that industrial disputes in WA remain at historic low levels.  The ABS includes in its measure of industrial disputes both lock outs by employers and action taken by workers in support of union claims.

Simone McGurk, Secretary UnionsWA, said:

“This is one of the lowest recorded levels of industrial disputes in WA.

“In the March Quarter 2012 there were only 300 days were lost to industrial disputes.  This is down from 5,900 in December 2011 and also well below 2,300 days lost in March 2011.

“This is not a one off.

“If we look at days lost through disputes in WA over the full years to March 2010, 2011 and 2012, these have fallen from 25,500 to 16,700 and now 8,100.

“Nationally, days lost due to industrial disputes have fallen for three consecutive quarters.

“Broadly this suggests that the Fair Work Act is working.

“This is a reality check for the campaign of myths by some employers who wrongly claim that Australia’s industrial system needs radical change in favour of employers.

“Nevertheless the current review of the Fair Work Act needs to address some anomalies.

“Unions are now required to give notice of industrial action, which is fair enough.

“However, there is no similar requirement for employers give notice if they lock out staff, as was the case with the recent Qantas dispute.

“To keep disputes low, then employers and unions should be treated the same and this anomaly should be fixed.

“What’s good for the goose should be good for the gander.”



6321.0 - Industrial Disputes, Australia, March 2012


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