NZPA is reporting that there were only four work stoppages in the last September quarter, making eighteen for the 2009 year to September. They then repeat the Stats NZ line that this figure is down on 2008.
So good news eh? Fewer strikes means a more contented workforce surely.
Except for the fact that the stats are a joke. In the period they are talking about there were stoppages due to strike action or lockouts involving Telecom workers, Open Country Cheese workers, Polytech workers, Bridgeman Concrete workers and Auckland Bus Drivers.
And those are just the ones I can name off the top of my head.
They also claim the total days of lost wages was 80. I’d say that the national strike by Telecom workers alone would run to at least five hundred days.
Part of the problem is there is no legal requirement to notify industrial action unless it’s in an essential industry so there’s no way Stats or the department of Labour can find out about most industrial action unless it comes up in the media. But each of these disputes was high-profile so you’d think they’d realise the numbers don’t hold water.
Mind you NZPA covered all of these disputes too. And now they’ve published stats that prove the disputes they covered must never have existed. How very postmodern.