ILO labor yearbook: some international comparisons Essay

The 1983 edition of the International Labor Organization’s YearBook of Labor Statistics includes international data on occupationalinjuries, industrial disputes and working days lost, and wagedifferentials between men and women.

According to the 64-nation survey on injury rates at work, about 9million persons were injured in 1982 a s a result of on-the-jobaccidents–24,000 of these were fatal. In the three most dangerous industries–mining and quarrying,construction, and manufacturing–fatality rates declined more than 20percent in several of the countries. Although manufacturing had thehighest number of fatal injuries (27 percent), in terms of fatalityrates, mining and quarrying were mored dangerous than construction, andmanufacturing was least hazardous of the three industries. The 46-nation study on industrial relations reveals that there were15 percent fewer strikes in 1982, but 5 percent more workers wereinvolved in industrial disputes, resulting in more working days lost.In the 18 participating OECD countries, the number of strikes decreasedby 15 percent (from 13,000 in 1981 to 11,000 in 1982), the number ofstrikers increased by 8 percent (from 15 million to 16.2 million), andthe number of working days lost increased by 5 percent (from 37 millionto 39 million).

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By comparison, in the 28 mainly developing countries,the number of strikes also decreased by 15 percent, strikers decreasedby 9 percent (from 3.5 million to 3.2 million), but the number ofworking days lost increased significantly by 17 percent (from 45 millionto 53 million).

Finally, the “wage gap” survey of 18 nations covered themanufacturing and nonagricultural industries for the years 1973-82 and1977-82. In 1982, Korean women in the nonagricultural industries hadthe highest salary differential, earning 54.9 percent less than Koreanmen, while Australian women had the lowest, 8.1 percent less than theirmale counterparts. In the manufacturing industries, Japanese womenearned 56.9 percent less than men and Swedish women, 9.

7 percent less. An ILO report on the yearbook notes that comparisons are difficultbecause the definitions, concepts, sources, and scope of the surveysoften vary among countries.

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