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Resource disputes cost WA working days

WA RECORDED the largest increase in working days lost in Australia during the 1998-99 year, almost doubling from the previous year, new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show.

This was in contrast to working days lost nationally falling by almost one-third to 411,100 from 591,800 twelve months previously .

The resource construction industry was the key to the large increase in working days lost in WA.

Projects such as the construction of the BHP’s hot briquetted iron plant and the $1 billion Murrin Murrin laterite nickel project had a number of disputes that contributed to the jump in working days lost in WA.

The decrease in national working days lost was despite an increase in disputes – up 52 per cent for the 1998-99 year.

Days lost per thousand employees averaged 94 in WA compared to a national figure of 90.

Queensland had the highest recording at 133 while the North-ern Territory lost only 13 working days per thousand employees.

Construction, while recording the second highest number of working days lost per worker – 405 working days lost per thousand workers – was below that recorded for coal workers but well up on the average across all industries of 90 working days lost per thousand employees.

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