Who: “The average industrial period of lost time … is one third of what it was in the Labor five and a half years compared to the Howard ten and a half years.” Minister for Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten.
The claim: Days lost to industrial action during the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government is one third of the days lost during the Howard government.
The facts: ABS data show1 that the number of days lost to industrial action between March 2008 and March 2013 was 48,700 days per quarter or 4.9 days per 1,000 employees. During the Howard government the average number of days lost was 102,900 or 13.5 days per 1000 employees.
The finding: The claim is accurate.
Discussion of evidence: The average number of days lost to industrial action during the Labor government was just under half (47.3 per cent) that lost during the Howard government. As a proportion of employees, however, the number of days lost was only a third the rate recorded while Howard was prime minister.
1 Tables 3a and 3b.