MORE man-days were lost in the first three months of last year because of work stoppages, than the combined total of the three preceding years, data from the Ministry of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development has stated.
A man-day is an industrial unit of production equal to the work one person can produce in a day.
In the first quarter of 2012, 178,790 man-days were lost as a result of work stoppages, data from the Labour Ministry showed.
The data for the remaining three quarters for the year were not provided.
The total number of man-days lost due to work stoppages in the years 2009, 2010 and 2011 combined was 140,354, the Labour Ministry stated.
In 2009, 36,252 man-days were lost for the entire year, while in 2010 and 2011, 3,488 and 100,614 man-days were lost respectively, the data stated.
The information supplied by the Ministry of Labour was filed in the Parliament on Tuesday night in response to a question raised by Opposition Member of Parliament for La Brea, Fitzgerald Jeffrey.
The response which was filed in the Parliament stated that "one way of estimating man-hours lost from industrial action is by examining the data on work stoppages as collected by the Ministry of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development".
According to the data collected by the Labour Ministry, there were more than twice as many work stoppages recorded in the first three months of last year than for the three preceding years combined.
There were 57 work stoppages recorded for the first quarter of 2012, the Labour Ministry's data stated.
The total number of work stoppages in the years 2009, 2010 and 2011 was 26, the data stated.
Eleven work stoppages each were recorded in 2009 and 2011 while only four were recorded for 2010, the Labour Ministry's data stated.
In all 7,648 workers were involved in the work stoppages held during the first quarter of last year.
In 2009, 2,514 workers were involved in the work stoppages for that year, while 428 and 897 were involved in the work stoppages in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
Based on the data collected by the Labour Ministry some of the reasons for the work stoppages were, outstanding arrears of salary, seeking improved working conditions, wages and breakdown in negotiations and health and safety issues.
Speaking to the Express in a telephone interview yesterday, Labour Minister Errol McLeod said his ministry's ability to quell several labour disputes last year stemmed the increase in the number of man-days lost.
"The resolution of most of the issues that came before the Ministry of Labour might well have contributed to an easing of the tension, so to speak," McLeod said.
The Ministry of Labour and the Chief Personnel Officer were able to settle over 40 trade disputes last year, McLeod said.