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Stats show public sector most affected by strikes

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Office of National Statistics figures reveal that the public sector lost more working days due to strikes than the private sector last year but the private sector had a greater number of disputes.

Overall the public sector accounted for 63 per cent of working days lost through industrial action last year due to the greater numbers of workers taking part.

But 2005 saw the lowest number of days lost (158,000) to industrial action in both sectors since records began in 1998.

John Philpott, chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said the public sector difficulties were caused by being larger organisations with a stronger union presence, centralised employee relations systems and pressure to deliver the Gershon efficiency savings.

He added that the data indicated there was more to good employment relations than improvements in job prospects and pay conditions alone.

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