The lockout, or lockout in English, it is the total or partial stoppage of one or more work activity centers. This, by the employer or company.
The lockout, therefore, occurs when a job closure occurs, and regular activities are stopped in one or more work centers. Unlike a strike, it is not a measure taken by the union or a group of workers, but by the company or the employer that has hired those employees.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) defines the lockout as a total or partial cessation of one or more places of employment, or the impediment of the normal work activities of employees. This, decided by one or more employers, for the purpose of enforcing or resisting demands or expressing complaints, or for the purpose of supporting other employers in their demands or complaints.
The above was extracted from the document "Resolution on the statistics of strikes, lockouts and other actions caused by labor disputes, adopted by the 15th International Conference of Labor Statisticians", of January 1993.
The lockout can then be a measure by the company to resist a demand from the workers. It may be a conflict, for example, around a demand for a salary increase.
Lockouts are not categorically prohibited, and their treatment will depend on the legal framework of each country. Thus, there may be circumstances in which the employer justifies the measure, for example, if his property is in danger.
We must take into account that the lockout hurts the workers, since they do not receive the remuneration corresponding to the period of the stoppage.
The ILO, in the aforementioned document, considers two types of employees linked to a lockout, those who are directly involved in the conflict and those who are not. Thus, both groups are prevented from working by the measure taken by the employer.
Example of lockout
An example of a lockout is the one that occurred in the NBA in 2011.
This stoppage became official in July of that year, and was due to a conflict between the players and the franchise owners.
One of the most controversial proposals of the entrepreneurs was to reduce the income received by players as a percentage of the BRI indicator (Basketball Related Income) from 57% to 47%.
The BRI includes the various income related to basketball. Such as the sale of tickets, television contracts and advertising in stadiums.
This lockout lasted until December 2011, when an agreement was reached that allowed the season to resume.