Key Difference – Strike vs Lockout
Both strikes and lockouts involve cessation of work in a factory or any other workplace. The key difference between strike and lockout lies on the parties who initiate the cessation of work. In a strike, it is the employees who stop working, but in a lockout, it is the employers who stop the work of the employees. Let’s look at the differences between strike and lockout more comprehensively in this article.
What is a Strike?
A strike can be defined as “a refusal to work, organised by a body of employees as a form of protest, typically in an attempt to gain a concession or concessions from their employer”.
They are usually started by labor unions in order to convince the management to give them higher salaries or benefits or to improve their working conditions. They may be specific to a particular employer, workplace or even a unit within a workplace, but at the same time, they might also involve the entire industry or every worker in the country. For example, a strike in a garment factory may persuade all garment employees in the country to go on a strike or all the workers in garment factories may collectively ask for better working conditions and benefits. A strike has the power to affect the economy of the entire country.
A strike can take different forms; it may involve employees refusing to attend work or standing outside the workplace to prevent others from work. It may also involve employees occupying the workplace, but refusing to work or leave the premises. This is known as a sit-down strike.
What is a Lockout?
Lockout can be defined as a “The exclusion of employees by their employer from their place of work until certain terms are agreed to” (Oxford online dictionary). It is a temporary stoppage of work initiated by the management of the company. Lockouts are often used during labor disputes.
A lockout is usually implemented by refusing to admit workers onto company premises. This may be done simply by changing the locks or using security guards to secure the premises.
A lockout is known to be the opposite of a strike. They are used by the management to enforce terms of employment upon a group of employees during a dispute. For example, it can force unionized workers to accept lower wages. If the union is demanding for higher salaries or other benefits, the management can convince them to back down with the threat of a lockdown.
Dublin Lockout, which lasted from 26 August 1913 to 18 January 1914, based on the dispute over worker’s right to unionize, is one of the most severe industrial disputes in Ireland.
What is the difference between Strike and Lockout?
Strike: A strike is a refusal to work, organised by a body of employees as a form of protest, typically in an attempt to gain a concession or concessions from their employer.
Lockout: A lockout is the exclusion of employees by their employer from their place of work until certain terms are agreed to.
Strikes are initiated by the employees.
Lockouts are initiated by the employers.
Strikes are conducted with the aim of gaining concessions from the employer.
Lockouts are used to enforce terms of employment upon a group of employees during a dispute.
Strikes may involve employees refusing to attend work, employees standing outside the workplace as a form of protest (picket) or employees occupying the workplace but refusing to work (sit down strike).
Lockouts involve refusing to admit workers onto company premises.
“1913 Rochester Garment Workers Strike” By Unknown(Life time: Unknown) – Original publication: UnknownImmediate source: Albert R. Stone Collection, Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia