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Economic News Release
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Major Work Stoppages (Annual) News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Tuesday, February 11, 2020	                                    USDL-20-0244

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


                                   MAJOR WORK STOPPAGES IN 2019


In 2019, there were 25 major work stoppages involving 1,000 or more workers and lasting at least one
shift, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Between 2010 and 2019 there were a total of
154 work stoppages, averaging 15 stoppages a year. 

There were 425,500 workers involved in major work stoppages that began in 2019, with the majority of
idled workers (270,000) in the educational services industry (13 work stoppages). The average number
of workers involved in work stoppages between 2010 and 2019 was 147,660, and 2018 had the largest
number of workers involved (485,200). 

In 2019 the largest stoppage by lost workdays was the dispute between General Motors (GM) and United
Auto Workers (UAW) involving 46,000 workers. The work stoppage began on September 16, 2019 and spanned 
for 29 working days resulting in a cumulative loss of 1,334,000 work days. Since 1993, there have been
a total of 22 work stoppages involving GM, and the one beginning in 2019 was the fifth largest in terms 
of number of workers involved, and second largest in terms of cumulative lost workdays. The largest GM
stoppage occurred in 1998 and involved 152,200 workers and over 3 million work days lost.

Decade (2010 - 2019) highlights

Industry
 There were 93 work stoppages in private industry, 37 in local government, and 24 in state government.
 The health care and social assistance industry group accounted for 45 stoppages, educational services
  accounted for 38, and manufacturing accounted for 15. 
  
Duration
 The longest ongoing stoppage is a dispute between Charter Communications and the International
  Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 3 that started in March 2017 and presently involves 1,800
  workers idled for 695 work days.
 The longest completed stoppage was a dispute between American Crystal Sugar Company and The Bakery,
  Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers' International Union that started in August 2011 and
  lasted for 342 work days.

Number of workers involved
 The two largest work stoppages were the dispute between North Carolina State Legislature and North
  Carolina Association of Educators idling 123,000 workers in 2018 and 92,700 in 2019.
 The third largest stoppage involved the Arizona State Legislature and Arizona Education Association
  idling 81,000 workers between April 26 and May 3, 2018.

                                            TECHNICAL NOTE

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides information on major (1,000 workers or more) work stoppages in
the United States. The number of workers includes those idled for one shift or longer in the 
establishment(s) directly involved in the dispute as well as those in the establishment idled for 
related reasons, such as their facility is closed down during the stoppage. An attempt is made to 
contact the parties involved in the work stoppage (employer, employer group, or union) to determine 
whether the duration and number of workers idled by the stoppage meet the thresholds for inclusion in
this report. For additional information on the concepts, data sources, design, measures, and history of
the work stoppages program, see www.bls.gov/opub/hom/wsp/home.htm.

Detailed monthly work stoppage data since 1993 are available at 
www.bls.gov/web/wkstp/monthly-listing.htm and includes organization(s) involved, location, beginning and
ending dates, the number of workers, and total days of idleness.

Annual historical major work stoppages data from 1947 to present, including the number of work 
stoppages, workers, and total days of idleness, are available at 
www.bls.gov/web/wkstp/annual-listing.htm.

Historical Bureau of Labor Statistics work stoppages publications are available from 1936 to 1979
at www.bls.gov/wsp/wspfaq.htm#Question_10.

The Union Members  2019 report is available at www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/union2.pdf.

Last Modified Date: February 11, 2020