Lockout (industry)

Lockout (industry)

A lockout is a work stoppage in which an employer prevents employees from working. This is different from a strike, in which employees refuse to work.

A lockout may happen for several reasons. When only part of a trade union votes to strike, the purpose of a lockout is to put pressure on a union by reducing the number of members who are able to work. For example, if a group of the workers strike so that the work of the rest of the workers becomes impossible or less productive, the employer may declare a lockout until the workers end the strike.

Another case in which an employer may impose a lockout is to avoid slowdowns or intermittent work-stoppages. Occupation of factories has been the traditional method of response to lock-outs by the workers' movement.

Other times, particularly in the United States, a lockout occurs when union membership rejects the company's last and final offer at negotiations and offers to return to work under the same conditions of employment as existed under the now expired contract. In such a case, the lockout is designed to pressure the workers into accepting the terms of the company's last offer.

The term "lockin" refers to the practice of physically preventing workers from leaving a workplace. In most jurisdictions this is illegal but is occasionally reported, especially in some developing countries.Fact|date=January 2008

United States

In the United States, under Federal labor law, an employer may only hire temporary replacements during a lockout. In a strike, unless it is an unfair labor practice (ULP) strike, an employer may legally hire permanent replacements. Also, in many U.S. states, employees who are locked-out are eligible to receive unemployment benefits, but are not eligible for such benefits during a strike.Fact|date=April 2008

For the above reasons, many American employers have historically been reluctant to impose lockouts, instead attempting to provoke a strike. However, as American unions have increasingly begun to resort to slowdowns rather than strikes, lockouts have come "back in fashion" for many employers, and even as incident of strikes are on the decline, incidents of lockouts are on the rise in the U.S.Fact|date=March 2008

Recent notable lockout incidents have been reported in professional sports, notably involving the NBA and NHL.Fact|date=December 2007

ee also

*FaSinPat, an Argentine recovered factory following a lockout

External links

* [http://libcom.org/tags/lockouts New and histories of lockouts] , on libcom.org
* [http://www.easf.org.uk/wiki/index.php?title=1872:_The_great_farm_lockouts Account of the great farm lockout of 1872] on EASF

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