District Sentinel - Industrial unrest in the United States was more frequent and widespread last year, according to annual data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There were twelve “major work stoppages” measured by BLS, up from eleven the year before. The disputes involved about 47,000 workers—a year-over-year increase of 13,000.
It was the first year since 2011 that saw the number of major work stoppages increased in the US, and the first year since 2012 to see the number of workers involved in industrial disputes go up.
The number of days lost to disagreements between management and unionized labor was also up by almost 400 percent. In 2015, 740,000 workdays were lost to strikes or lockouts–up from 200,000 in 2014.
The increase in idle days can be attributed mostly to two disputes involving the United Steelworkers Union. A four-month strike by USW against Shell Oil saw all days lost to contract fights increase by 322,100. A lockout involving USW and the Pittsburgh-based steel manufacturer Allegheny Technologies accounted for 206,800 days idle. It started in August and is still ongoing.