Lock-in Versus Lock-out

Lock-in vs. Commuting during a Strike

Certain variables may warrant consideration of a “lock-in” scenario upon the onset of a union strike. These variables include:

  • Location of operations
  • Availability of resources and amenities in surrounding communities
  • Anticipated level of picket line aggression

The primary purpose of a lock-in is to reduce or eliminate the crossing of the picket line by salaried workers, temporary employees, or both, by establishing on-property accommodations and amenities. Most commonly, lock-ins are a short-term solution to unruly or mass picketing (read our advice on how to prepare for picketing), and once injunctions have been put into place and are actively enforced, all personnel are able to enter and leave the facility on a daily basis.

Lock-In of Temporary Strike Replacement Workers

Strom’s experience has shown that with proper planning and preparations, lock-in of temporary workers can usually be avoided, which translates to a cost-savings for our clients and a maintained high morale of Strom employees.

Lock-In of Salaried Personnel

The lock-in of salaried personnel presents unique challenges in maintaining morale of employees, which may affect safety and performance. It is crucial in a salaried lock-in scenario that clear assumptions and expectations are communicated to employees prior to lock-in, and that additional emphasis is placed on monitoring for any adverse affects the lock-in may generate. Remember, no salaried employee may be forced into a lock-in scenario or locked-in against his or her will.

Comparison of a Strike and Lockout

Contact us today to speak with a member of our leadership team. We would be happy to share some of our experiences regarding strikes and lockout situations.

According to Wikipedia, 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 is purely a company decision and 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 the anticipated strike severely hampers work of non-striking workers, 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. Other times, particularly in the United States, a lockout occurs when union membership rejects the company’s 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.