Work stoppages

During an organised strike action or work stoppage, workers temporarily cease working to force employers to meet their demands. It is not the number of strikes that counts, but the number of labour disputes, insofar as the dispute leads to further action in the shape of strikes or stoppages. Several issues may play a part in a labour dispute. If this is the case, the most important issue is the decisive factor.

Statistics Netherlands looks at labour disputes from an economical point of view. If the labour process is disrupted as a result of actions, these actions are defined as strikes. Last year, there were 15 actions, which were not defined as strikes by Statistics Netherlands. It concerned actions carried out outside normal working hours, distribution of leaflets by representatives of the trade unions at factory gates, actions by foreign subsidiaries of Dutch companies and ’creative’ actions.

In the autumn of 2009, a campaign was launched against the government plan to raise the pension age in the Netherlands to 67. But these actions were chiefly held outside working hours and are therefore not included in the statistics.