UK strikes: how many working days in West Midlands have been lost to strikes in 2022?

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal how many working days in the West Midlands were lost to industrial action in October 2022, the highest monthly number since November 2011
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The number of working days lost to strike action in the UK has reached its highest in a decade, new data published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows.

The latest figures reveal 417,000 working days were lost to industrial action in October 2022, the highest monthly number since November 2011 when just under one million working days were lost.

In the five months to October 2022, 1.2 million working days were lost in the UK. The ONS stopped collecting data on strike action during the Covid-19 pandemic and only began again in June of this year. However, the figure is 25 times greater than during the same period in 2019, when 47,000 working days were lost to strike action.

October’s figures are also double the amount lost in September 2022, when 209,000 working days were lost. The ONS said some strikes were suspended in September for the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

Workers across the UK have been taking industrial action since June in response to the cost of living crisis and rising inflation. Refuse workers, barristers, teachers, postal workers and railway workers have all walked out in response to pay and working conditions since the summer.

Birmingham New Street on the first day of the RMT train strikes (Tuesday, June 21)Birmingham New Street on the first day of the RMT train strikes (Tuesday, June 21)
Birmingham New Street on the first day of the RMT train strikes (Tuesday, June 21)

Who is striking and which parts of the UK are worst affected?

Additional figures show that the transport, storage, information and communication industry, which includes jobs in public transport, post and telecoms, were the main driving force behind the lost working days in October. ONS figures show 368,100 working days were lost in the sector in October, followed by education with 26,300 lost working days.

Far more working days were lost in the private sector than the public sector, the figures show. The private sector lost 369,000 working days in October, eight times greater than the public sector which lost 48,000 working days. Some 121,000 workers in the private sector have been involved in industrial action and 26,000 in the public sector.

What do the figures show for the West Midlands?

Last month, 37,500 working days were lost in the West Midlands due to the strikes - the fifth highest out of regions in the UK.

17,000 were lost in September 2022 and 22,000 were lost the month before in August.

London was the hardest hit by lost working days in October, with 69,200 days lost to industrial action, followed by the North West with 56,400 and the South East with 56,200.

In total, the West Midlands has lost 87,400 working days due to strike action this year. The North West is the worst hit, with 185,100 days lost, and London is next with 183,000 days.

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