lockout, intentional closing up of a company, factory, or shop by an employer to prevent employees from working during a strike or labor dispute. The term lockout is sometimes confused with the term strike, since what employers will frequently designate as a strike will in turn be referred to by workers as a lockout. Lockouts have generally been regarded as legal by the courts, although in some cases they have been held unlawful if they violate the terms of a joint agreement.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.