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Work Stoppages

Work stoppages in manufacturing

The manufacturing sector comprises establishments engaged in the mechanical, physical, or chemical transformation of materials, substances, or components into new products.

Establishments in the Manufacturing sector are often described as plants, factories, or mills and characteristically use power-driven machines and materials-handling equipment. However, establishments that transform materials or substances into new products by hand or in the worker's home and those engaged in selling to the general public products made on the same premises from which they are sold, such as bakeries, candy stores, and custom tailors, may also be included in this sector. Manufacturing establishments may process materials or may contract with other establishments to process their materials for them. Both types of establishments are included in manufacturing.

The manufacturing sector consists of these subsectors: (1) Food Manufacturing (NAICS 311); (2) Beverage and Tobacco Product Manufacturing (NAICS 312); (3) Textile Mills (NAICS 313); (4) Textile Product Mills (NAICS 314); (5) Apparel Manufacturing (NAICS 315); (6) Leather and Allied Product Manufacturing (NAICS 316); (7) Wood Product Manufacturing (NAICS 321); (8) Paper Manufacturing (NAICS 322); (9) Printing and Related Support Activities (NAICS 323); (10) Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing (NAICS 324); (11) Chemical Manufacturing (NAICS 325); (12) Plastics and Rubber Products Manufacturing (NAICS 326); (13) Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing (NAICS 327); (14) Primary Metal Manufacturing (NAICS 331); (15) Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing (NAICS 332); (16) Machinery Manufacturing (NAICS 333); (17) Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing (NAICS 334); (18) Electrical Equipment, Appliance, and Component Manufacturing (NAICS 335); (19) Transportation Equipment Manufacturing (NAICS 336); (20) Furniture and Related Product Manufacturing (NAICS 337); (21) Miscellaneous Manufacturing (NAICS 339).

Transportation equipment manufacturing (NAICS 336) accounted for almost a half (48 percent) out of total 161 major work stoppages in manufacturing industry between 1993 and 2020.

Chart 1. Work stoppages in manufacturing 1993-2020

 

  • See table for chart 1
    • Table 1. Number of work stoppages by manufacturing industry, 1993-2020
      Industry (NAICS) Number of Work stoppages

      Transportation Equipment (336)

      74

      Machinery (333)

      19

      Primary Metal (331)

      12

      Plastics and Rubber Products (326)

      11

      Food (311)

      10

      Electrical Equipment, Appliance, and Component (335)

      8

      Computer and Electronic Product (334)

      6

      Chemical Manufacturing (325)

      4

      Fabricated Metal Product (332)

      4

      Beverage and Tobacco Product (312)

      3

      Apparel (315)

      3

      Paper (322)

      2

      Nonmetallic Mineral Product (327)

      2

      Textile Mills (313)

      1

      Textile Product Mills (314)

      1

      Wood Product (321)

      1

      Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Major Work Stoppages Program.

 

The states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Claifornia, and New York acounted for about a third of national employment in manufacturing and close to 60 percent of all major work stoppages in the industry in 1993-2020.

Chart 2. States with 5 or more major work stoppages in manufacturing industry 1993-2020

 

  • See table for chart 2
    • Table 2. Number of major work stoppages in manufacturing industry, 1993-2020
      State Number of major work stoppages

      Ohio

      24

      Pennsylvania

      18

      Michigan

      16

      Illinois

      14

      California

      12

      New York

      11

      Texas

      11

      Indiana

      10

      Tennessee

      10

      Iowa

      9

      Washington

      9

      Wisconsin

      9

      Kansas

      7

      Alabama

      6

      Oregon

      6

      Virginia

      6

      Connecticut

      5

      Georgia

      5

      Interstate

      5

      Mississippi

      5

      Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Major Work Stoppages Program

 

The state of Ohio accounted for 14.9 percent of all major work stoppages in manufacturing, while its share of national employment in this sector was around 5.5 percent in January 2020. Texas and Georgia were the only states where the share of total employment in manufacturing was comperable with the share of major work stoppages in this industry.

Chart 3. Share of national employment and major work stoppages in manufacturin by state 1993-2020

 

  • See table for chart 3
    • Table 3. States with 5 or more major work stoppages in manufacturing industry, 1993-2020
      State Share of national employment in manufacturing Share of total major work stoppages in manufacturing

      Ohio

      5.5% 14.9%

      Pennsylvania

      4.5% 11.2%

      Michigan

      4.8% 9.9%

      Illinois

      4.5% 8.7%

      California

      10.3% 7.5%

      Texas

      7.1% 6.8%

      New York

      3.4% 6.8%

      Tennessee

      2.8% 6.2%

      Indiana

      4.2% 6.2%

      Wisconsin

      3.7% 5.6%

      Washington

      2.3% 5.6%

      Iowa

      1.8% 5.6%

      Kansas

      1.3% 4.3%

      Virginia

      1.9% 3.7%

      Oregon

      1.5% 3.7%

      Alabama

      2.1% 3.7%

      Mississippi

      1.2% 3.1%

      Georgia

      3.2% 3.1%

      Connecticut

      1.3% 3.1%

      Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Major Work Stoppages Program, State and Area Current Employment Statistics

 

Each of the five longest major work stoppages in manufacturing occured in private industry and lasted for over a year. The dispute between Kaiser Aluminum Corp. and United Steelworkers in the late 1990's is the longest manufacturing related work stoppage of the last quarter century. It lasted for over 2 years (718 calendar days) and 513 work days were lost.

Chart 4. Longest work stoppages in manufacturing 1993-2020

 

  • See table for chart 4
    • Table 4. Longest major work stoppages in manufacturing industry, 1993-2020
      Organization(s) involved State(s) Area(s) Ownership Union Work stoppage beginning date Work stoppage ending date Calendar days Work days lost Number of workers

      Kaiser Aluminum Corp. & United Steelworkers

      LA, OH, WA Multiple States Private Industry United Steelworkers 10/1/1998 9/18/2000 718 493 3,000

      Ormet & United Steelworkers

      OH Hannibal Private Industry United Steelworkers 11/22/2004 7/16/2006 601 436 1,200

      Caterpillar, Inc. & United Automobile Workers[1]

      IL, MI, PA, CO Multiple States Private Industry United Automobile Workers 6/20/1994 12/3/1995 531 368 14,000

      American Crystal Sugar Company & Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union[2]

      MN, IA, ND Multiple States Private Industry Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union 8/1/2011 12/1/2012 488 342 1,300

      AK Steel Corp. & Armco Employees Independent Federation[3]

      OH Middletown Private Industry Armco Employees Independent Federation 3/1/2006 3/14/2007 378 262 1,800

      Footnotes:

      [1] Number of workers involved decreased from initial 14,000 to 11,000 as 3,000 returned to work by 06/27/1994.

      [2] The number of workers participating in the work stoppage dropped below 1,000 in December 2012.

      [3] The work stoppage decreased from 2,600 to 2,400 in the beginning of April 2006 to 2300 in July 2006, 1900 in October 2006, and 1800 workers in November 2006.

      Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Major Work Stoppages Program

 

The labor disputes between the General Motors Corp. and United Automobile Workers were the largest major work stoppages in terms of workers involved. The largest one started in 1998 and lasted for 40 work days holding 152,200 workers out of their jobs, resulting in 3,313,000 cumulative days of idleness.

Chart 5. Largest work stoppages in manufacturing by number of workers involved 1993-2020

 

  • See table for chart 5
    • Table 5. Largest major work stoppages in manufacturing industry, 1993-2020
      Organization(s) involved State(s) Area(s) Ownership Union Work stoppage beginning date Work stoppage ending date Number of workers (2) Days idle, cumulative for this work stoppage (3)

      General Motors Corp. & United Automobile Workers[1]

      Interstate Private Industry United Automobile Workers 6/5/1998 7/29/1998 152,200 3,313,000

      General Motors Corp. & United Automobile Workers[1]

      OH Dayton Private Industry United Automobile Workers 3/8/1996 3/22/1996 136,000 1,260,000

      General Motors Corporation & United Automobile Workers

      Nationwide Private Industry United Automobile Workers 9/24/2007 9/26/2007 74,000 148,000

      General Motors Corp., Inland Fisher Guide Plant & United Automobile Workers

      IN Anderson Private Industry United Automobile Workers 8/23/1994 8/25/1994 46,400 63,300

      General Motors Corp. & United Automobile Workers

      MI Statewide Private industry United Automobile Workers 9/16/2019 10/25/2019 46,000 1,334,000

      Footnotes:

      [1] Excludes workers in Canada and Mexico.

      Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Major Work Stoppages Program

 

Five largest major work stoppages in manufacturing in terms of cumulative days idled totaled over a million. The largest stoppage started in 1994 and continued for about 18 months. The dispute between Caterpillar, Inc. and United Automobile Workers held 14,000 workers away from their jobs and resulted in over 4 million days of idleness.

Chart 6. Largest work stoppages in manufacturing by days of idleness 1993-2020

 

  • See table for chart 6
    • Table 6. Largest major work stoppages in manufacturing industry, 1993-2020
      Organization(s) involved State(s) Area(s) Ownership Union Work stoppage beginning date Work stoppage ending date Number of workers (2) Days idle, cumulative for this work stoppage (3)

      Caterpillar, Inc. & United Automobile Workers[1]

      IL, MI, PA, CO Multiple States Private Industry United Automobile Workers 6/20/1994 12/3/1995 14,000 4,063,000

      General Motors Corp. & United Automobile Workers[2]

      Interstate Private Industry United Automobile Workers 6/5/1998 7/29/1998 152,200 3,313,000

      Boeing Company & International Association of Machinists

      WA, KS, OR Multiple States Private Industry International Association of Machinists 10/6/1995 12/14/1995 33,000 1,551,000

      Kaiser Aluminum Corp. & United Steelworkers

      LA, OH, WA Multiple States Private Industry United Steelworkers 10/1/1998 9/18/2000 3,000 1,479,000

      General Motors Corp. & United Automobile Workers

      MI Statewide Private industry United Automobile Workers 9/16/2019 10/25/2019 46,000 1,334,000

      Footnotes:

      [1] Number of workers involved decreased from initial 14,000 to 11,000 as 3,000 returned to work by 06/27/1994.

      [2] Excludes workers from Canada and Mexico.

      Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Major Work Stoppages Program