For many people, this was the first full working week after the Christmas break, and for Londoners who faced separate tube and rail strikes, it was even more trying.
It’s too early to say how many days of work were lost as a result of these strikes, but it is possible to look at the sectors that have experienced the most disruption in recent years.
Strike out: 4.6m working days were lost to strikes between 2008 and 2015
Thousands of working days lost by selected
Health and social work
In November 2011, some 2m public sector workers went on strike over proposed reforms to their pensions
Thousands of working days lost by selected industrial sectors
Health and social work
Source: ONS. * includes storage, information and communication
In 2011, up to 2 million public sector workers went on strike over proposed government reforms to their pensions, in the largest strike for three decades. While hospitals, the ambulance service and courts were all affected, the largest impact was in education, with 655,000 days lost in the sector that year, just short of half the full-year total of days lost.
By 2015, strike actions had lessened considerably: fewer people went on strike in 2015 than in any year on record, while the number of working days lost was at its second-lowest in 126 years, despite action by London Underground staff and public sector strike in Northern Ireland.
Although final figures for 2016 won’t be released until mid-February, figures covering January-October were already running at more than 1.5 times the 2015 total.
A series of strikes by junior doctors led to the highest disruption in those 10 months, contributing to the loss of more than 130,000 working days. The 2016 figures do not incorporate industrial actions that occurred toward the end of the year, including the Southern rail and post office strikes.
The disruption caused by strike actions of recent years is, however, minimal compared to industrial actions from earlier eras.
The 1926 general strike saw more than 1.5m workers picket for nine days in support of coal miners, resulting in the loss of 162m working days that year, eclipsing all recorded actions before and since and led to a ban on “sympathy strikes”.
Major miner’s strikes in 1972 and 1984 contributed to the loss of 24m and 27m working days respectively. The public sector strikes of 1979, better known as the winter of discontent, contributed to more than 29m days lost to strike action.
This article was sourced from http://newsquizextra.com