Lockouts – what you need to know

The employers’ association SA has called a vote amongst its member companies on a lockout. A lockout is when an employer sends staff home from work and refuses to pay wages. A lockout is used to force workers to take worse collective agreements than they would otherwise accept.

Efling wants to solve the dispute with SA at the negotiation table. The Efling negotiations committee has been in talks with SA in good faith and presented compromises which are acceptable to employers.

Therefore, Efling wants to tell its members the following:

  • A lockout is a unilateral use of force by employers, chosen by them instead of trying to solve things at the negotiation table with their workers’ union.
  • If an employer chooses to use a lockout against their staff, it is the employer’s responsibility, not the union’s.
  • Efling will not pay any grants from the union’s strike fund to members because of a lockout, as the lockout is not the union’s responsibility, and because the strike fund would not be able to sustain such payments.
  • Efling urges its members in workplaces to ask their bosses what their position on lockouts will be. It is best to ask for a formal meeting and ask the employer to state clearly their stance on the lockout.
  • If a lockout happens, Efling will call its members to wide-ranging protests against the employers who end up using it. The union asks its members to keep an eye on further messages from the union about such actions.