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.

Employers have two other options once a legal strike/lockout deadline has passed:
• they can impose their preferred terms and conditions on the matters under negotiation on the union; and
• they can ask for the Ministry of Labour to conduct a supervised final offer vote, which would require the union membership to vote on the Employer’s final offer (also called a forced ratification vote), 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.