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CEP Discussion Paper
Strike Incidence and Duration in British Manufacturing Industry in the 1980s
P Ingram and David Metcalf
August 1991
Paper No' CEPDP0048:

Around 1-in-40 wage settlements involves a strike in British manufacturing during the 1980s. The average strike duration was 12 days. Data kindly made available by the CBI are used to analyse strike incidence, duration and pay changes for some 70000 settlements at the level of the bargaining group. Numerous new findings are reported. For example multi-unionism in a workplace is associated with higher strike incidence and durations than single unionism. And the changes in industrial relations laws during the 1980s are associated with reduced strike incidence and duration. Various strike theories are examined and the evidence suggests that one version of the asymmetric information theory of strikes- that unions know their own strength but that the firm does not have this information- has much to commend it.