Dating back in history especially during the times of economic crisis, strikes used to be rampant. Workers used to use strikes as the weapon for negotiation between them and their employers. Nowadays strikes have decreased because workers fear that their pay would be cut off depending on the days they declined from work or even they could be fired from work. Altogether, workers still go on strike when they want their employers to listen to their pleas. Lockouts are different from strikes because they are not carried out by the employees but by the employers. The employers stop the employees from coming to work by preventing them from coming to their workplace until further notice or until when the unions come into a consensus. Since operations can’t be completely stopped, the employers hire temporary workers to keep the operations ongoing until when the unions surrender to their demands (Gorman, 2014).
Reasons for using lockouts
Lockouts are used for various reasons. They are used by the employers as their weapons and tools to make the employees forcefully accept the organization’s working conditions. They also arise if the employees do not maintain the right and expected industrial relations. They may also arise if an organization has been making continuous financial losses. Strikes also contribute highly to lockouts if the workers have been striking illegally. Unrest dispute among workers may also lead to the same whereby in most cases this happens when workers are working in the same department, have the same educational qualifications but are being paid differently (Fossum, 2014).
It is therefore advisable for union leaders to lay the proper strategies that would help in ending and coping with management lockouts with immediate effect. Unions should set it as a law that lockouts are illegal and therefore if an organization carries out one, it should be answerable to the court. In case the lockouts are legal and tend to happen, the unions should call the management on board and agree on new strategies that are workable (Kuhn, 2011).
It is advisable for the managers to use lockouts if the organization makes more losses than the profits. The management should also use lockouts when the employer has violated or gone against the terms of employment earlier agreed upon. They should use the lockout as a strategic weapon in negotiation if the unions by not employing temporary workers to substitute the union workers. Therefore by so doing, the operations suddenly stops and therefore this will speed the unions up to agree to come up to negotiations. If the employees violate the rules or are not willing to accept the employment terms, then lockouts should be used and due to work stoppage and lack of salaries, the employees will agree to have negotiations and get back to work immediately.
Gorman, R. A., & Finkin, M. W. (2014). Basic Text on Labor Law, Unionization, and Collective Bargaining. West Academic Publishing.
Fossum, J. A. (2014). Labor relations. Mcgraw Hill Higher Educat.
Kuhn, J. W. (2011). Bargaining in grievance settlement. New York: Columbia.