ILO labor yearbook: some international comparisons Essay

The 1983 edition of the International Labor Organization’s Year
Book of Labor Statistics includes international data on occupational
injuries, industrial disputes and working days lost, and wage
differentials between men and women.

According to the 64-nation survey on injury rates at work, about 9
million persons were injured in 1982 a s a result of on-the-job
accidents–24,000 of these were fatal.

In the three most dangerous industries–mining and quarrying,
construction, and manufacturing–fatality rates declined more than 20
percent in several of the countries. Although manufacturing had the
highest number of fatal injuries (27 percent), in terms of fatality
rates, mining and quarrying were mored dangerous than construction, and
manufacturing was least hazardous of the three industries.

The 46-nation study on industrial relations reveals that there were
15 percent fewer strikes in 1982, but 5 percent more workers were
involved in industrial disputes, resulting in more working days lost.
In the 18 participating OECD countries, the number of strikes decreased
by 15 percent (from 13,000 in 1981 to 11,000 in 1982), the number of
strikers increased by 8 percent (from 15 million to 16.2 million), and
the number of working days lost increased by 5 percent (from 37 million
to 39 million). By comparison, in the 28 mainly developing countries,
the number of strikes also decreased by 15 percent, strikers decreased
by 9 percent (from 3.5 million to 3.2 million), but the number of
working days lost increased significantly by 17 percent (from 45 million
to 53 million).

Finally, the “wage gap” survey of 18 nations covered the
manufacturing and nonagricultural industries for the years 1973-82 and
1977-82. In 1982, Korean women in the nonagricultural industries had
the highest salary differential, earning 54.9 percent less than Korean
men, while Australian women had the lowest, 8.1 percent less than their
male counterparts. In the manufacturing industries, Japanese women
earned 56.9 percent less than men and Swedish women, 9.7 percent less.

An ILO report on the yearbook notes that comparisons are difficult
because the definitions, concepts, sources, and scope of the surveys
often vary among countries.


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