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Industrial action at historic low, but fairer pay essential

Frances O’Grady

The number of working days taken up by strike action in 2016 was one of the lowest since records began in 1891, according to ONS data just released.

The total number of stoppages was lower than in 2015. Although working days taken up by stoppages was higher than the previous year – due to action by junior doctors – it remained the eighth lowest since records began 125 years previously. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Going on strike is always a last resort when bosses refuse to negotiate or compromise. Strikes are far less common these days and tend to be short.

“With the average annual wage still worth a thousand pounds less than a decade ago, it is not surprising that many strikes are about fair pay. To keep strikes at historic lows, the next government needs to get wages rising. And we need new laws to improve workplace rights and give people more voice at work.”

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