March 23, 2004
The number of workers idled because of strikes and lockouts rose in 2003, but was still low by historical standards. Fourteen major work stoppages began during the year, idling 129,200 workers. In 2002, there were 19 stoppages and 46,000 workers idled.
Three work stoppages beginning in 2003 accounted for about three-quarters of all workers idled. The largest was between Albertsons, Ralphs Grocery Company, and Vons and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), with 67,300 idled. The second largest was a stoppage between General Electric Company and the Communications Workers (IUE-CWA) and the United Electrical Workers (UE-Ind.) that idled 17,500 workers. The third was a stoppage between Dierbergs Markets, Schnucks, and Shop 'n Save and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) that idled 10,200.
These data are from the BLS Collective Bargaining Agreements Program. Learn more about work stoppages from news release USDL 04-418, "Major Work Stoppages in 2003" (PDF) (TXT), Major work stoppages are defined as strikes or lockouts that idle 1,000 or more workers and last at least one shift.