Work stoppage information is used as an indicator of the state of industrial relations in New Zealand.

Work stoppages include strikes (action initiated by unions) and lockouts (action initiated by employers), compiled from the record of strike or lockout forms submitted to MBIE under section 98 of the Employment Relations Act 2000.

Work stoppage information focuses particularly on the economic impact of events such as strikes and lockouts, and does not cover forms of industrial unrest such as authorised stopwork meetings, strike notices, protest marches and public rallies.

Work stoppage information for 2017

Work stoppage figures for 2017 are now available, showing six recorded stoppages in 2017, involving 421 employees. All stoppages were complete strikes and are estimated to have amounted to 0.8 person-days lost per striking employee and an estimated $720,000 in lost wages and salaries.

In comparison, the three stoppages that ended in 2016 two were full strikes and one partial strike. These stoppages involved 1981 employees, a loss of 573 person-days of work, and an estimated $55,935 loss in wages and salaries. 

The table below shows information about work stoppages from 2005 to 2017. The graph below shows total stoppages by calendar year since 1986.

Annual work stoppages

Calendar yearNumber of stoppagesNumber of employees involvedPerson-days of work lostEstimated loss in wages and salaries $(million)
2005 60 17,752 30,028 4.8
2006 42 10,079 27,983 5.2
2007 31 4,090 11,439 1.9
2008 23 C C C
2009 31 8,951 14,088 2.4
2010 17 6,394 6,285 1,121
2011 12 2,098 4,850 1.0
2012 10 5,179 78,589 13.6
2013 6 270 483 0.12
2014 13 1,564 1,448 0.3
2015 5 1,845 392.5 Unknown 
2016 3 430 195 Unknown 
2017 6 421 370 0.72
C confidential
Source: Statistics New Zealand and MBIE

Number of work stoppages 1986–2017

Graph: Number of work stoppages 1986–2017

 

Available statistics

Work stoppages are classified by industry, institutional sector (private or public), region, cause, method of dispute resolution (how the dispute was resolved), and method of achieving a return to work. The full range of indicators are available on request from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, subject to confidentiality rules.

Contact us for more information.

Page last revised: 26 June 2018