Home » Uncategorized » US Bureau of Labor Statistics – 2018 A Year of Record Labor Union Strikes (BLS Report) 9 Feb 2019

US Bureau of Labor Statistics – 2018 A Year of Record Labor Union Strikes (BLS Report) 9 Feb 2019

Striking teachers

(West Virginia Teachers on Strike)

Bureau of Labor Statistics – Work Stoppages Summary


(Ed:  The number of workers participating in strike action in the US during 2018 reached the highest level in 32 years, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report issued Friday morning in Washington. The figures document the rise in the class struggle in the course of the year, spearheaded by public school teachers who carried out statewide strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona.

The BLS report identified 20 major labor disputes, defined as strikes or lockouts involving at least 1,000 workers. It was the largest number of such actions since 2007, when there were 21 strikes or lockouts of that size.

More than 485,000 workers staged walkouts during the year, with the vast majority of these being teachers and other school workers, including 86,000 in Arizona, 45,000 in Oklahoma, 35,000 in West Virginia and 26,000 in Kentucky, all in protracted battles with their state governments, as well as 123,000 in North Carolina and 63,000 in Colorado, who were limited to one-day strikes.

The total number of workers involved was the largest since 1986, when 533,000 workers engaged in major strikes or lockouts. The 2.8 million work days lost to strikes or lockouts in 2018 were the most since 2004.)

For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Friday, February 8, 2019				        USDL-19-0189

Technical information:	(202) 691-6199  workstoppagesinfo@bls.gov  www.bls.gov/wsp 
Media contact:		(202) 691-5902  pressoffice@bls.gov


In 2018, there were 20 major work stoppages involving 485,000 workers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor 
Statistics reported today. The number of major work stoppages beginning in 2018 was the highest since 
2007 (21 major work stoppages). The number of workers involved was the highest since 1986 (533,000 
workers). (See www.bls.gov/web/wkstp.supp.toc.htm.)

Educational services and health care and social assistance industry groups accounted for over 90 percent 
of all workers idled in 2018. Between 2009 and 2018 the educational services and health care and social 
assistance industries accounted for nearly one half of all major work stoppages. (See 

In 2018, the largest work stoppage by days idle was between the Arizona State Legislation and Arizona 
Education Association and involved 81,000 teachers and staff totaling 486,000 days of idleness. The 
second largest stoppage in 2018 involved the Oklahoma State Legislature and the Oklahoma Education 
Association accounting for 405,000 days idle. Statewide major work stoppages in educational services 
also occurred in West Virginia, Kentucky, Colorado, and North Carolina. (See 

The longest major work stoppage beginning in 2018 involved National Grid and the United Steelworkers 
Locals 12003 and 12012 accounting for 156,000 days idle in the current year. The National Grid work 
stoppage began on June 25, 2018 and was ongoing thru 2018. Other notable major work stoppages 
beginning in 2018 involved the Marriott Corporation and the University of California Medical Centers.

Since 1981, there has been a significant reduction in the number of annual major work stoppages.   
Differences between major work stoppages "beginning" and "in effect" result from disputes that are 
continuing from the prior year. The largest difference occurred in 1985 with 54 major work stoppages 
"beginning" in the year and 61 "in effect." The series low for major work stoppages was 5 in 2009. (See 

The PDF version of the news release

Supplemental Files Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: February 08, 2019




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