Strike vs Lockout: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. A strike is a collective action by employees, organized through their labor union, where they refuse to work to pressure their employer to meet specific demands.
  2. A lockout is initiated by the employer, preventing employees from entering the workplace and performing their duties. Lockouts are used to gain negotiation leverage or weaken the bargaining power of employees and their unions.
  3. Both strikes and lockouts disrupt business operations and can have significant economic and social consequences. They are seen as last-resort measures taken when negotiations between employers and employees have reached an impasse, and they are governed by specific legal frameworks that vary between countries.

What is Strike?

The protests done by the workers of a particular company for achieving a specific goal or objective that they are kept away from in exchange for working in a company is known as a strike. The strike can be due to pending or lower wages, unfavorable working conditions, recognition for the union, bad treatment from superiors, etc. 

Most of the time, strikes are violent, but some strikes are started and end peacefully. Some strikes achieve their objectives, while some do not. Some strikes get violent, and police interference is made. The protestors may get hurt, and so can the passersby. 

Depending on the magnitude, the majority of the protestors, and the objective, the strikes last for a certain period. The goals are to be heard and understood by superiors and higher authorities. Some strikes last for months. 

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The advantages of a strike weigh equal to the disadvantages of a strike. A strike brings attention to a cause, highlights the wrong patch of the company, and reveals the conditions the workers and the employees go through. The employers are pressured into fulfilling the demands of the employees. 

The unity and strength of the employees are demonstrated. If the demands of the employees are fulfilled, the company works efficiently. 

What is Lockout?

When a workplace is temporarily closed, thereby suspending all its operations due to maintenance of equipment or other types of machinery, it is said to be a lockout. A lockout is made to ensure the employees’ safety and prevent unauthorized usage of specific machines or switches. 

They are tagged or physically locked to avoid access to the machines undergoing repair during a lockout. The company ensures that the machinery is not accessed or activated during a lockout to prevent accidents.  

A lockout advantages the employers and the employees and, thereby, the company as the employer’s safety is maintained, as well as the equipment’s safety. Slight damage to the equipment can incur an immense loss for the company.

A lockout maintains the company’s safety, and thereby the company’s productivity is increased. A company complies with the safety regulations, and instead of frequent lockouts, a cycle of lockouts is maintained, which lessens the possibility of pausing the company’s workflow frequently.

 If a lockout is not conducted orderly, the company can face financial losses, decreased productivity, communication breakdown, increased hostility, and abrupt customer relations. It can also impact the company’s reputation negatively. 

Difference Between Strike and Lockout

  1. The workers and the employees take action in a strike; on the other hand, steps are taken by higher authorities and employers during a lockout.
  2. Strikes can turn violent; however, lockouts are the company’s safety measures. 
  3. Strikes can occur illegally; however, lockouts cannot occur illegally. 
  4. During a strike, the company stops its operations because of the employees; on the other hand, during a lockout, the company’s operations are paused because of the decision taken by the employers. 
  5. A strike is the employee’s decision; on the other hand, an event of a lockout is the employer’s decision. 
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Comparison Between Strike and Lockout

Parameters Of ComparisonStrikeLockout
Plan of actionCarrying out protests and strikes.Pausing the company’s operations for safety measures mostly.
FormViolent or peacefulMostly peaceful
Illegal formPossibleNot possible
Decided byEmployeesEmployers
ReasonsPending or fewer salaries, mistreatment from the employers.Safety maintenance, equipment repair etc.

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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