Lies, Damned Lies, and Strike Statistics: the Measurement of Trends in Industrial Conflict
Overt and collective conflict between labour and management has been a lasting preoccupation of many people ever since strikes and lock-outs appeared on the industrial scene well over a century ago. From the beginning public authorities took great interest in strikes, and were quick to institute the business of counting and classifying them. The statistics they produced were and still are some of the most over-abused and least understood of man’s many attempts to freeze and condense richly dynamic social events into static, artificial, and misleadingly accurate arithmetic. And from the first, the indignation or self-satisfaction experienced from looking beyond one’s borders and comparing one’s own record with those of other countries has been one of the major attractions of stoppage statistics.
KeywordsIndustrial Relation Stoppage Statistic Relative Involvement Labour Dispute Strike Activity
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