February 12, 1999
Although low by historical standards, the number of work stoppages that began in 1998 was slightly higher than the total reported in 1997. The thirty-four stoppages idled 387,000 workers and resulted in 5.1 million days of idleness. Thirty stoppages occurred in the private sector, with an equal split between manufacturing and nonmanufacturing industries.
The 1998 work stoppage involving the most workers (152,000) was between General Motor Corporation (GM) and the United Automobile Workers union (UAW); most of the employees were out for over 4 weeks. Other large stoppages included Bell Atlantic Corporation and the Communications Workers of America (73,000 workers out 3 days), U.S. West Corporation and the Communication Workers (34,000 workers out 15 days), and Northwest Airlines and the Airline Pilots Association (about 34,000 thousand workers out 13 days).
Almost four-fifths of the year’s 5.1 million days of stoppage-related idleness stemmed from those four disputes: GM/UAW (3.3 million days), U.S. West Corporation/Communications Workers of America (340,000 days), Northwest Airlines/Airline Pilots Association (215,000 days), and Bell Atlantic/Communications Workers (146,000 days).
These data are a product of the BLS Office of Compensation and Working Conditions, Collective Bargaining Agreements. Additional information is available from news release USDL 99-33, "Major Work Stoppages, 1998." Major work stoppages are defined as strikes or lockouts that idle 1,000 or more workers and last at least one shift.