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B.A.L.L.B(H) [2015-2020]

I take this opportunity to express my profound gratitude

and deep regards to my guide Mrs. SREEDURGA for her
exemplary guidance, monitoring and constant
encouragement throughout the course of this thesis. The
blessing, help and guidance given by her time to time
shall carry me a long way in the journey of life on which I
am about to embark.
In this project we will review what are strikes and
lockouts and how they affect the workers as well as the
In this project we will also see the various tools that are at
the disposal of the workers and the employers to resolve
any discord and ways in which both parties use those
tools to have their demands heard and implemented by the
other party.
In this project we will also see the role strikes and
lockouts play in India and also the provisions that are
given under the industrial dispute act regarding strikes
and lockouts.
1) Strike action, also called labor strike, labour
strike, or simply strike, is a work stoppage caused
by the mass refusal of employees to work. A strike
usually takes place in response to employee
STRIKE AS to refuse to continue working because
of an argument with an employer about working
conditions, pay levels, or job losses.
3) Collective, organized, cessation or slowdown of
work by employees, to force acceptance of their
demands by the employer.
Also called strike action or industrial action.
ACT defines the term strike, it says, "strike" means a
cassation of work by a body of persons employed in
any industry acting in combination, or a concerted
refusal, or a refusal, under a common understanding
of any number of persons who are or have been so
employed to continue to work or accept employment.
Strikes became common during the Industrial Revolution,
when mass labor became important in factories and
mines. In most countries, strike actions were quickly
made illegal, as factory owners had far more power than
workers. Most Western countries partially legalized
striking in the late 19th or early 20th centuries.
The use of the English word "strike" first appeared in
1768, when sailors, in support of demonstrations in
London, "struck" or removed the topgallant sails of
merchant ships at port, thus crippling the ships. Official
publications have typically used the more neutral words
"work stoppage" or "industrial dispute".
The first historically certain account of strike action was
towards the end of the 20th dynasty, under Pharaoh
Ramses III in ancient Egypt on 14 November 1152 BC.
The artisans of the Royal Necropolis at Deir el-Medina
walked off their jobs because they had not been paid. The
Egyptian authorities raised the wages.
The strike action only became a feature of the political
landscape with the onset of the Industrial Revolution. For
the first time in history, large numbers of people were
members of the industrial working class; they lived in
cities and exchanged their labor for payment. By the
1830s, when the Chartist movement was at its peak, a true
and widespread 'workers consciousness' was awakening.
In 1842 the demands for fairer wages and conditions
across many different industries finally exploded into the
first modern general strike. After the second Chartist
Petition was presented to Parliament in April 1842 and
rejected, the strike began in the coal mines of
Staffordshire, England, and soon spread through Britain
affecting factories, mills in Lancashire and coal mines
from Dundee to South Wales and Cornwall. the strike was
politically motivated and was driven by an agenda to win
concessions. Probably as much as half of the then
industrial work force were on strike at its peak – over
500,000 men.
The first-ever strike struggle of Indian industrial workers
took place in March 1862. 1200 Railway Workers of
Howrah Station went on strike demanding an eight-hour
work day. In 1877 workers launched a strike demanding a
wage hike in Nagpur Empress Mill. Between 1882 and
1890, 25 important strike struggles took place in Mumbai
and Madras Presidencies. In 1881, jute workers at
Ghusuri (Bengal) went on strike on two occasions against
wage erosion. In 1885, jute workers of Budge Budge
(near Kolkata) went on strike for 6 days and in 1889 the
same jute workers went on strike for 8 days. As colonial
industrialization advanced, the newly emergent class of
industrial workers reacted spontaneously to extreme
exploitation with a good many struggles. Such outbursts,
mainly directed against excessive workload, low wage
and absence of minimum security, began to attract the
attention of humanist intellectuals.

Union members sometimes try lesser degrees of
workplace disruptions before they resort to an all-out
 Sick-out (or sick-in) - All, or a significant
number of union members call in sick on the same
day. They haven't broken any rules, because they just
use sick leave that was allotted to them. However, the
sudden loss of so many employees all on one day can
show the employer just what it would be like if they
really went on strike.
 Slow-down - All the union employees continue
coming to work on time, and they continue to
perform their jobs, but they do them more slowly.
This might mean that they start doing everything "by
the book," following every guideline and performing
every safety check to the point that their work slows
down. The resulting drop in production hurts the
employer, but again, the employees aren't actually
breaking any rules. This is sometimes called a partial
 Sit-down strike - Employees show up to their
place of employment, but they refuse to work. They
also refuse to leave, which makes it very difficult for
anyone to defy the union and take the workers'
 ULP strike- called against the unfair labor
practices of the employer, usually for the purpose of
making him desist from further committing such
 Work-to-rule is an industrial action in which
employees do no more than the minimum required by
the rules of their contract, and precisely follow all
safety or other regulations, which may cause a
slowdown or decrease in productivity, as they are no
longer working during breaks or during unpaid
extended hours and weekends (checking email, for
instance). Such an action is considered less disruptive
than a strike
 A general strike is one in which all or most
workers in an entire region or country go on strike
together, regardless of union affiliation. These strikes
are usually intended to create political pressure on the
ruling government, rather than on any one employer.
In 2005, France was severely disrupted by a
nationwide general strike in protest of planned
changes to working hours and workers' benefits.

A lockout is a temporary work stoppage or denial of
employment initiated by the management of a company
during a labor dispute. That is different from a strike in
which employees refuse to work. It is usually
implemented by simply refusing to admit employees onto
company premises and may include changing locks and
hiring security guards for the premises. Other
implementations include a fine for showing up or a simple
refusal of clocking in on the time clock. It is therefore
referred to as the antithesis of strike.
Industrial action during which an employer withholds
work, and denies employees access to the place of work.
In effect, it is a strike by the management to compel a
settlement to a labor dispute on terms favorable to the
employer. When lock out action is taken by several
employers in concert, it is called a joint lockout. Also
called shut out.

The withholding of employment by an employer and the

whole or partial closing of the business establishment in
order to gain concessions from or resist demands of

 Dissatisfaction with company policy
 Salary and incentive problems
 Increment not up to the mark
 Wrongful discharge or dismissal of workmen
 Withdrawal of any concession or privilege
 Hours of work and rest intervals
 Leaves with wages and holidays
 Bonus, profit sharing, Provident fund and
 Retrenchment of workmen and closure of
 Dispute connected with minimum wages
 Poor communication between the employer and
the employees

A lockout is generally to try to enforce terms of
employment upon a group of employees during a
dispute. It can force unionized workers to accept new
conditions, such as lower wages. If the union is asking
for higher wages, better benefits, or maintaining
benefits, a manager may use the threat of a lockout or
an actual lockout to convince the union to back down.

Section 2(q) of said Act defines the term strike, it says,
"strike" means a cassation of work by a body of persons
employed in any industry acting in combination, or a
concerted refusal, or a refusal, under a common
understanding of any number of persons who are or
have been so employed to continue to work or accept
employment. Whenever employees want to go on strike
they must follow the procedure provided by the Act
otherwise their strike deemed to be an illegal strike.
Section 22(1) of the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 put
certain prohibitions on the right to strike. It provides
that no person employed in public utility service shall
go on strike in breach of contract:
(a) Without giving to employer notice of strike within
six weeks before striking; or
(b) Within fourteen days of giving such notice; or
(c) Before the expiry of the date of strike specified in
any such notice as aforesaid; or
(d) During the pendency of any conciliation
proceedings before a conciliation officer and seven days
after the conclusion of such proceedings.
It is to be noted that these provisions do not prohibit the
workmen from going on strike but require them to fulfil
the condition before going on strike. Further these
provisions apply to a public utility service only. The
Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 does not specifically
mention as to who goes on strike. However, the
definition of strike itself suggests that the strikers must
be persons, employed in any industry to do work.
The provisions of section 23 are general in nature. It
imposes general restrictions on declaring strike in
breach of contract in the both public as well as non-
public utility services in the following circumstances
mainly: -
(a) During the pendency of conciliation proceedings
before a board and till the expiry of 7 days after the
conclusion of such proceedings;
(b) During the pendency and 2 months after the
conclusion of proceedings before a Labour court,
Tribunal or National Tribunal;
(c) During the pendency and 2 months after the
conclusion of arbitrator, when a notification has been
issued under sub- section 3 (a) of section 10 A;
(d) During any period in which a settlement or award is
in operation in respect of any of the matter covered by
the settlement or award.
Section 24 provides that a strike in contravention of
section 22 and 23is illegal.
Section 2(1) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 defines
“Lock-out” to mean: The temporary closing of
employment or the suspension of work, or the refusal by
an employer to continue to employ any number of persons
employed by him.
lockout has been prohibited in the public utility service.
Section 22 (2) of the Act provides that no employer
carrying on any public utility service shall lock out any of
his workmen:
1. Without giving them notice of lockout as hereinafter
provided, within six weeks before locking out; or
2.Within 14 days of giving notice; or
3.Before the expiry of the day of lockout specified in any
such notice as aforesaid; or
4.During the pendency of any conciliation proceedings
before a Conciliation Officer and seven days after the
conclusion of such proceedings.
As such, lock-out if not in conflict with Section 22 and 23
may be said to be legal or not legal. Sections 24(1) (iii),
10(3) and 10A (4A) similarly controls the lock-out. A
lock-out in consequence of illegal strike is not deemed
to be illegal. But if lock-out is illegal, Section 26(2), 27
and 28 will come in operation to deal with the situation.
This brings to the fore the concept of justifiable lock-out.

India in the present context of economic development
programmes cannot afford the unqualified right to the
workers to strike or to the employer to lock-out.
Compulsory arbitration as an alternative of collective
bargaining has come to stay. The adoption of
compulsory arbitration does not, however, necessarily
mean denial of the right to strike or stifling of trade
union movement. If the benefits of legislation,
settlements and awards are to reach the individual
worker, not only the trade union movement has to be
encouraged and its outlook broadened but the laws have
also be suitably tailored. The existing legislation and
Judicial pronouncements lack breadth of vision. Indeed,
the statutory definitions of “strike” and “lock-out” have
been rendered worse by a system of interpretation
which is devoid of policy-oriented approach and which
lays undue stress on semantics. The discussion of the
concepts and definition of strike has sought to establish
that legalistic consideration has frequently weighed
with the court in interpreting and expounding the said
statutory definition: We believe that emphasis on literal
interpretation resulted in ignoring the ordinarily
understood connotation of the term “strike” and in
encouraging undesirable activity.

1) http://www.legalserviceindia.com
3) http://www.mondaq.com
4) en.wikipedia.org
5) www.biznews.com
6) http://www.naukrihub.com
7) www.manupatra.com