Under what circumstances may an employer institute a lockout?

Author: Jed L. Marcus, Bressler, Amery & Ross, P.C.

Most collective bargaining agreements contain provisions that prohibit the union or employees from striking or the employer from locking out employees during the term of the labor agreement. Once the agreement expires, however, the union may strike and the employer may impose a lockout. A lockout occurs where an employer bars its unionized workers from entering the workplace until such time as they accept to work on the employer's terms and conditions. During a lockout, the employer may continue business operations with non-unit employees and temporary replacements. The employer may not selectively permit some union employees to enter the premises and work.