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March bad month for workers

WA HAS recorded its highest number of working days lost in one month through industrial disputes since April 1997, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau

of Statistics.

In March, there were 14,400 working days lost in WA

compared with just 2,900 days the previous month.

The jump bucked the Australian trend of an 11 per cent decrease in days lost to industrial disputes.

The drop in Australia-wide days lost was a due to a sharp drop in disputes in NSW and Victoria.

The Australian construction industry recorded a 48 per cent increase in working days lost compared with February and accounted for 46 per cent of days lost during March.

In terms of working days lost per thousand employees, coal still dominates the figures with about 4,700 days lost per

thousand employees during the year to 31 March.

Construction workers came a distant second with 300 working days lost per thousand employees during the twelve months to 31 March, followed by the manufacturing industry with 188 days recorded.

The average for all industries was seventy-six days. The main cause of disputes was attributed to managerial policies – accounting for 60 per cent of disputes.

Almost half of all disputes ended without negotiation.

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