April 2013 Industry Update

Construction industry loses fewer days to strikes

The number of working days lost to industrial disputes in the Australian construction industry is at its lowest level in four years, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures show.

The latest ABS data, which measure the number of working days lost per thousand employees, show a return to minimal levels of industrial action – 2.3 working days lost per thousand employees in the December 2012 quarter – following spikes in activity in the June and September quarters.

The all industries figure for the December 2012 quarter was similar to the construction industry figure, at 2.5.

As the independent, standalone regulator of workplace relations laws in the Australian construction industry, FWBC is responsible for investigating and prosecuting unlawful strike action in the industry.

The decline in the number of days lost to industrial action is welcome, but is also a reminder of the need to stick to agreed dispute resolution procedures – industrial disputes result in a loss of productivity on a project and lost wages by those workers who take industrial action.

Every workplace agreement should have a dispute resolution procedure which is what the parties should be relying upon, should a disagreement arise.  A productive construction industry where productive working time is not lost to industrial disputes benefits all of us - the builders, the workers and Australia as a whole.

Further information:

FWBC Fact sheet: Industrial Action

Australian Bureau of Statistics website

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