Another year without strikes

In 1996 there were no official strikes in Austria. This was the third year in a row with practically no strike activity.

According to data recently published by the Austrian Trade Union Federation (Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund, ÖGB), there was not a single strike in 1996. In 1995 there had been one strike involving 60 workers at a tools factory in the south of the country, who clocked up 894 strike hours in the course of two days. For the total economy there were 1.05 seconds of strike activity per employee. In 1994, too, there were no strikes.

Before 1994 there was more, though still very little, strike activity. In 1993 there were three strikes involving a total of 7,512 employees and 131,363 strike hours. The largest part of this activity - 109,200 or 83.1% of the strike hours involving 1,200 employees - took place at Austrian Airlines over the issue of staff cuts. The remainder centred around pay increases and collective agreements in the construction industry. This resulted in an average of 2.6 strike minutes per employee in the entire economy.

In 1992, 18,039 employees went on strike for a total of 181,502 hours. This was almost entirely due to a 10-hour warning strike of 180,000 teachers in secondary schools. Furthermore, 22 chemical workers struck for 15 minutes each clocking up 22 strike hours over piece rates, and 17 employees striking for 11 working days accumulated 1,496 hours at a software publisher. In the latter case the issue was hours and working conditions. The employees were successful but the company afterwards went into receivership. The average working time lost through strikes per employee in the total economy was 3.6 minutes.

In 1991, 92,707 employees were responsible for 466,731 hours lost through strikes. Again the civil service was responsible for nearly all of the action: 92,456 employees and 455,961 hours. These were five warning strikes in the Public Employment Service (3,525 employees/ 56,400 hours), among primary school teachers (64,489/285,658), vocational school teachers (4,540/9,080), and two groups of secondary school teachers (18,131/90,655 and 1,771/14,168). The remainder took place at: a weekly magazine involving 70 journalists and 48 clerical workers for 10 strike days, where the issue was the magazine's general approach; an association in the health sector where 94 employees went on strike for a day and a half over outstanding salaries; and a small metalworking sector plant where 39 employees struck for 2.5 hours over dismissals. Of the strike hours, 2.3% were deemed successful, 73.3% partly successful, and 24.4% unsuccessful. Overall, employees averaged 9.3 minutes of strike. There was at least one unofficial strike of six workers in a quarry that lasted four hours. They demanded a wage increase but were not successful.

Before 1991 strike activity was minimal: In 1988 and 1990 1.5 strike minutes per employee accrued in the total economy, and in 1989 only 0.5 strike minutes.

In 1997, so far, there have been two warning strikes in the civil service (AT9706117F). Each had about 12,000 participants and resulted together in 150,000 to 200,000 hours lost.

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