When the management refuses to accept the demands of the employees or workers, due to which they mutually decide to stop working, and proceed to strike. Workers used this as a last option when they don’t find any other way to convince the management, to agree to their demands.
Talking about the other way round, when the employers are looking for domination over the workers and impose their terms and conditions on them, they keep them out of the business premises and stop them from performing their job. This is what we call ‘lock-out‘.
Both Strikes and Lock-Out play a significant role in industrial relations, used as tools by the employees and employers respectively, in an attempt to safeguard their rights and interests.
In this written material you will find the differences between strike and lock-out.
Content: Strike Vs Lock-Out
|Basis for Comparison||Strike||Lock-Out|
|Meaning||Strike refers to the suspension of work by the workers or employees, so as to compel the employer, to agree to their demands.||Lock-out is when the employer compels the workers to accept his terms and conditions, by shutting down the factory.|
|What is it?||Organized and collective withdrawal of labor supply.||Withholding the demand for labor.|
|Tactic||Union power tactic||Employer power tactic|
|Objective||To gain redressal of the grievance, or to cause change through it.||To gain an advantage by inflicting proprietary rights over the workers.|
|Used to||Initiate or resist change in their working conditions.||Force employees to return to work.|
Definition of Strike
Strike refers to a condition when one or more body of workers collectively stop the work for a temporary period while acting in mutual agreement so as to reach a certain end. It is organized with an aim of exerting pressure upon the management to fulfil their demands or express their grievances or support other workers, during the course of the dispute.
Strike means refusal to work, decided by the association of workers, to showcase protest, in order to get their demands fulfilled by the employer or gain concession. So, it involves:
- Voluntary stoppage or suspension of work.
- Abstinence is decided by a worker’s association, whose members are employed in an industry.
- Strikers collectively deny working.
- Common understanding should be present among the workers.
- Stoppage of work is to fulfil demands, as regards employment or its terms.
- May continue for any number of days.
- Workers resume work when they deem fit.
A strike is a temporary combined withdrawal of labour from the work. Workers are free to use this tool, as a form of organized protest by standing outside the workplace, or occupying the workplace but denying to work. However, it does not imply termination of employer and employee relationship.
The strike is costly to the workers, as it may lead to loss of earnings, increased emotional tension, depletion in union funds and even loss of employment, in certain situations.
Types of Strike
- Economic Strike: When the strike is due to an economic issue, like better pay, bonus, benefits, working hours, and working conditions, it is called an economic strike.
- Recognition Strike: Typical strike, often resulted to pressurize the employer to recognize the value of workers and deal with them.
- Sympathy Strike: When more employee union join the strike initiated by another union, to support them, it is a sympathy strike.
- Wildcat Strike: When the strike is unauthorized and not supported by the labour union, it is called a wild cat strike.
- Sit down Strike: Strike in which the employees strike while remaining at their job in the factory.
- Go-slow Strike: In this form of strike, workers do not work at normal speed, which is usually regarded as misconduct, rather than strike.
- Hunger Strike: A strike in which all or some of the workers fast, is called a hunger strike.
Definition of Lock-Out
Lock-Out means the employer temporarily closes down the factory or any unit of the enterprise, where numerous workers are employed, to handle the uncontrollable situation, till the issues are resolved. It is used to compel the workers to agree and resume the work as per the terms and conditions of the employers.
It may result in a huge loss to both the parties, i.e. management and workers. In fact, frequent lock-outs may lead to the permanent shut down of the factory which leads to the loss of jobs on a large scale.
Lock-Out involves partial or full temporary locking down of the workplace or halting operations or denial by the employer to continue employment, of a certain number of employees with an aim of enforcing demands or showing grievance or to support other employers. It encompasses:
- Temporary shut down of the factory or unit.
- The industry is locked out to enforce demand or terms and conditions.
- Intended to reopen the factory or unit when workers agree to work, as per the demand of the management and also to scale down the worker’s demand.
Also Read: Difference Between Lay-Off and Lock Out
Key Differences Between Strike and Lock-Out
So far we have understood the basic meaning of these two terms, now we will talk about the difference between strike and lockout:
- Strike implies the stoppage of work by an association of workmen, working in an industry, as they collectively refuse to work under a common understanding, to show grievance or to compel the management to fulfil their demands. As against, Lock-Out is the opposite of strike, as it is initiated by the company’s management, which results in psychological pressure on the workmen, to accept the terms and conditions of the management or ready to bear the consequences of the closure of the unit.
- The strike involves an organized and united withdrawal of the supply of labour, whereas, Lock-Out involves withholding the demand of labour.
- The strike is a tool in the hands of workers to bend the employer in their favour. As against, Lock-Out is the tool in the hands of management to restrict the militant spirit of the workers.
- Lock-Out is a tactic used in bargaining, which aims at compelling the workers to agree and accept the terms and conditions related to the employment, imposed by the management. On the other hand, the strike is a union power tactics as it is called upon and supported by the labour or employee union.
- The main objective of the strike is to seek redressal of the grievance, promote and protect their rights and interest and also attain fulfilment of their demands, related to employment. In contrast, Lock-Out aims at gaining an advantage by inflicting proprietary rights over the workers.
- The strike is resorted to by the workers to initiate or resist change in their working conditions. Conversely, Lock-Out is resorted to by the management to force employees to return to work.
Causes of Strikes
- Wages, Allowance and Bonus
- Layoff and Retrenchment
- Indiscipline and Violence
- Charter of Demands
- Non-implementation of Agreements and Awards
Causes of Lock-Out
- Response to strikes initiated by workers.
- Unrest, disputes and clashes between workers and managers
- External environmental factors like unstable government or changes in government rules.
- Continuous financial losses
- Fraudulent or illegal activities undertaken in a company.
Kingfisher Airlines is one of the finest examples, that suffered huge losses as it failed to compete in the aviation industry, as a result of which they were not able to pay salaries to their employees for six months, and the employees went on strike against the company, which resulted in more losses and partial lockout is declared by the company’s executives.
Basically, strikes and lock-outs are just methods resorted to by the workers and employers with an aim of settling their disputes, when they fail to settle them via peaceful negotiation. Lock-Out is not usually adopted by the management, rather it is usually announced when the workforce continue their strike, so as to prevent direct conflict between them.