Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures have revealed a modest decrease in the number of workers involved in industrial disputes in the September quarter.

In the September quarter 2018, there were 51 disputes, three greater than in June quarter 2018.

The number of employees involved in industrial disputes in September quarter 2018 was 13,800, a decrease from 14,600 in June quarter 2018.

There were 47,400 working days lost due to industrial disputation in September quarter 2018, an increase from 12,500 in June quarter 2018.

There were 4,000 working days lost in the coal mining industry and 7,700 days lost in the “other mining” category.

The “Metal products etc manufacturing industry” (28,000) had the highest number of working days lost of any industry in September quarter 2018, accounting for 59% of total working days lost. The same sector also had the highest number of working days lost per thousand employees (85.2) for the quarter.

Western Australia (33,600) had the highest number of working days lost of any state or territory in September quarter 2018, accounting for 71% of total working days lost. Western Australia also had the highest number of working days lost per thousand employees (27.6) for the quarter.

During the year ended September 2018, there were 172 disputes, 16 greater than in the year ended September 2017.

Over the same period, there were 111,600 working days lost, 25% fewer than in the year ended September 2017 (148,900).

It comes despite union claims of inadequate rights to strike.