Going on strike is definitely a public sector activity. In 2006, public sector strike activity was seven times higher than the private sector.
During the last decade, there were only three years when the public sector lost few days due to industrial action compared to the private sector. It was back in 1997, when New Labour was elected. The honeymoon lasted until 1999 when it was business as usual.
With all this foolish talk of pay restraint, perhaps industrial action in the private sector will make a comeback. The drivers at Shell gave a couple of lessons on how to beat inflation. All the conditions are now in place for an upswing of industrial action; inflation is rising, real wages are falling, the bank of england are ready to accomodate and a weak and unpopular government is in office.