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How to Institute a Lockout

Author: Jessica Sussman

When employers face repeated work stoppages and threats of disruptive action by employees and their union, employers may elect to institute a lockout. Employers may lock out their employees without pay, upon proper notice, once a bargaining period begins, or immediately with notice, in response to the start of union industrial action. Most lockouts are implemented in response to some union activity in an effort by the employer to catch the employees off guard and impact their financial means. While the lockout is often an effective tool for employers, the consequences may last long after the lockout has ended. Once employers negatively impact their employees financially, it may be a challenge to regain employee trust.