A CIPD survey reveals that organisations are being affected by difficult employment relations, mainly in the public sector. It reveals that a quarter of surveyed unionised organisations have been affected by strike action in the last 12 months and 1 in 3 of such employers expect strike action next year.

Two thirds of employers have put in place representative arrangements for informing and consulting with employees (for example, staff councils) and most employers cite maintaining high levels of employee engagement as the most likely route to improve employee relations.

UK official strike figures were published in June 2008 and show that more than one million working days were lost through strike action in 2007 (almost 250,000 more days than in 2006). The principal cause of labour disputes was pay and pay related issues followed by disputes over working hours.