There were nearly 15,000 days lost to industrial disputes last year, according to the Central Statistics Office, a 76% increase on the figure recorded in 2012.

There were 12 disputes in total last year, according to the statistics, involving 11,924 workers at 12 firms.

The majority of the days lost – 65.6% - occurred in two disputes in the transportation and storage sector.

Workers at both Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus staged separate strikes last year in relation to the companies' respective cost-saving measures.

Five disputes were in progress in the last three months of the year, according to the CSO, involving a total of 6,394 workers.

This is the same number of disputes as recorded during the whole of 2012, though they only involved 1,920 workers in total.

While the number of days lost to industrial disputes was higher in 2013 than in recent years, it is still significantly below the level recorded in 2009.

That year saw a total of 21 disputes involving 278,228 workers at 168 firms, resulting in a loss of 329,593 days.