Lockouts

LOCKOUTLockout means temporary shutdown of the factory by the employer, but not winding up (permanent) of the factory. Lockout of the factory maybe happened due to the failure in the management affected by internal disturbances or maybe by external disturbances. Internal disturbances maybe caused when the factory management goes in to financial crisis or got succumbed into financial debts, disputes between workers and workers, disputes between workers and management or may be caused by ill-treatment of workers by the management. Sometimes factory lockouts may be caused by external influences, such as unnecessary political parties involvement in management of workers union may be provoked for unjustified demands that may be unaffordable by the management, which may ultimately lead to lockout of the factory. Factory lockout is procedural aspects governed by the labour legislation of that country. Lockout of the factory is a major issue, which affects workers as well as management and cannot be initiated for a simple reason.

Unlike the strikes, lockout is declared by the management out of the consequences of clashes between management and the workers, due to unjustified demands by the workers.

When the lockout of the factory is illegal and justified, workers are not entitled to pay wages by the management, as the principal of ‘no work no pay’. The question of illegality or unjustified of lockout, mainly arises when it has been done without issuing notice in advance to the workers. Besides, there must be justified reasons by the management to declare lockout of the factory, which ultimately affect earnings of the workmen and also the management.

Why the word ‘lockout’ ?
Lock made is not permanent that can be closed and opened. The word ‘out’ can be understood as keeping temporarily away management and employees from the factory, till settlement of the issues caused to lockout.

Factory lockout is the ultimate weapon in the hands of the management when an uncontrollable situations arises in the factory. No matter what it is factory lockout will cause great loss to the management and to the workers. If lockout re-occurs, it may become threat for the existence of the factory, which finally leads to the loss of the jobs of workers.

Kingfisher airlines of India went into losses amounts of 8,000 crores due to failure in meeting competition in the aviation industry eventually had not paid salaries to its employees for a period of six months which led to agitation among employees eventually resorted for strike. With the loss of Rs. 8,000 crores by Kingfisher airlines additionally got a burden of another Rs. 7,000 crores hence declare partial lockout by its top officials on 1st September 2012.

PROCEDURE OF LOCKOUTS
According to Sec. 22(1) of the Industrial Dispute Act 1947.
Worker should follow the rules mentioned below for doing Lockouts. The rules are as follows :
** Issue of notice of lockout is mandatory;
** The date of lockout must be within 6 weeks from the date of issue of strike notice;
** The day of lockout must not be within 14 days from the date of notice;
** There should be no lockout on any day before the date specified in the strike notice;
** There should be no lockout during the pendency of conciliation proceedings and 7 days after the conclusion of said proceedings;

THE REASONS BEHIND THE LOCKOUTS
** Disputes or clashes in between workers and the management.
Unrest, disputes or clashes in between workers and workers.
** Illegal strikes, regular strikes or continuous strikes by workers may lead to lockout of factory or industry.
** External environmental disturbance due to unstable governments, may lead to lockouts of factories or industries.
** Continuous or accumulated financial losses of factory or industry, may lead to opt lockout by the management.
** Maybe lockout, if any company involves in any fraudulent or illegal activities.
** Failure in maintaining proper industrial relations, industrial peace and harmony.

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