The main aim of any industry is to run for a longer duration in a stable and in a profitable manner which can be happened if there are harmony, and coordination among them-self. But at times, dispute arises between the employers, and employers, or between employers and workmen, or between workmen inter se. In such situations’ mater should be expeditiously resolved.
Lock-out in laymen term refers to the temporary ‘shut down’ or ‘to close’ of the work or business. As per the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 ‘lock-out’ is defined under clause (l) section 2. It is stated that it is a temporary closing of the place of working or employment, or suspending the work or employer refuses any number of person employed to continue to work.
It is to be noted that the ‘lock-out’ is different from ‘closure’. The former refers to the temporary closing, while, the later refers to permanent closing. In lock-out, only the place of employment is closed down while in closure itself business is closed down. Like strike is the weapon of the employee, lock-out is considered as the tools for the employer.
PROHIBITION OF LOCK-OUT.
Section 22 of the Act deals with the same
An employer carrying out public utility service is prohibited to lock-out any workmen working under unless:
Notice has been given within the six weeks before the lock-out or
Fourteen has been completed from the date of such notice or
The date specified in the notice has expired
In the pendency of any conciliation proceeding held before the conciliation officer and seven days has been passed from the date of such order
In case where lock-out exists in public utility services, the notice of lock-out is not necessary, but it is duty of the employer to convey the same to the appropriate government on the day on which it is declared.
Where a notice has been received by the employee working in public utility service, he shall disclose or intimidate the same to within five days to the appropriate government.
Section 23 deals with the general prohibition. As per the section, the employer is restricted to declare lock-out under certain situation:
When the conciliation proceeding is pending before Board and not before the expiry of the seven days from the date on which the order has been made by the Board.
The proceeding is pending before the Labor Court, Tribunal or national tribunal and not before the completion of the two months from the date of order
During the arbitration proceeding is pending before the arbitrator and not before the collapse of two months from the date of conclusion
During any period in which settlement or award is an operation
Where any lock-out contravenes section 23 or 23 or it continues to contradict the order made under subsection (3) of section 10 or sun section 4A of section 10A, shall be termed as an illegal lock-out.
Where any lock-out priory exist before the commencement of any proceeding before the Board, tribunal, arbitrator, Labor Court or National Tribunal shall not be deemed as an illegal lock-out unless it contravenes any provision of the Act at the commencement or the continuation is not prohibited under sub section 4A of section 10A or section 10.
Where the lock-out resulted from the illegal strike such lock-out shall not be deemed to be illegal.
Where an employer who commence or continue or act in furtherance of illegal lock-out shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term upto one month or fine upto one thousand rupees or both.