According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 2013, for the first time in four years, the number of workers idled by major strikes or lockouts declined. Fifteen work stoppages of 1,000 or more workers idled approximately 55,000 workers, down from 19 stoppages in 2012 that affected 148,000 workers. Consequently, work time lost to work stoppages dropped by 74 percent to 290,000 workdays, or less than .0005 percent of all U.S. workdays, the lowest numbers in three years. The industries with the largest number of major strikes and lockouts in 2013 were healthcare and local government, each with four. Eight of the year’s major stoppages took place in California, including a seven-day walkout by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United in May.
Approximately 130 United Steelworkers Local 8565 members offered “an unconditional return to work” to Rotek Inc., in Aurora, Ohio, ending an almost 13-month strike. The union initially called the strike to pressure the company in support of its negotiating position, but the parties have remained unsuccessful in reaching a new labor agreement. Yet, the union claimed the offer to return from strike without a deal was strategic because it “starts the meter running on back wages.” Rotek and the union both insist that talks are continuing in order to overcome the impasse and move forward with their negotiations.