What is a lockout?

A lockout occurs when the Employer denies employees access to the workplace and stops paying them in order to exert pressure on the union and its members to settle on the Employer’s terms. Lockouts have been rare in the university sector in Canada but it is a legal option open to our Employer. The Employer can lockout its employees 17 days after a no-board report has been issued.

Employers have two other options once a legal strike/lockout deadline has passed:
• during a lock out, the Employer can invite members to continue working (scabbing) on whatever terms the Employer sets, including terms different from or lesser than those contained in the prior collective agreement, but members can say no to those terms thereby remaining locked out. Such terms would only remain in effect until the lockout/strike ends and a new collective agreement is ratified.  YUFA can sanction members for scabbing.
• they can ask for the Ministry of Labour to conduct a supervised final offer vote (i.e. forced ratification vote), which would require the union membership to vote on the Employer’s final offer, independent of whether the Executive or Bargaining Team thought it was a good offer to present to members. An Employer can only use this option once during a bargaining round.