lockout, intentional closing up of a company, factory, or shop by an employer to prevent employees from working during a strike or labor dispute. The term lockout is sometimes confused with the term strike, since what employers will frequently designate as a strike will in turn be referred to by workers as a lockout. Lockouts have generally been regarded as legal by the courts, although in some cases they have been held unlawful if they violate the terms of a joint agreement.

Tactic used by employers in labour disputes, in which employees are locked out of the workplace or otherwise denied employment. In the 1880s and '90s, factory owners in the U.S. often used lockouts against the Knights of Labor, which was struggling to organize industries such as meatpacking and cigar making. The lockout has been used less frequently in modern times, usually as part of a pact among members of employers' associations to frustrate labour unions by closing work facilities in response to strikes.

Learn more about lockout with a free trial on

Lockout may mean:

  • Lockout (industry), a work stoppage in which an employer prevents some or all employees from working
  • Lockout (telecommunication), a system to prevent unwanted signals
  • A daytime period in some hostels during which guests are disallowed from the premises
  • A map for the video game Halo 2
  • Lockout law, a law to prevent people entering venues between certain times, usually late at night as a crime prevention strategy
  • Lockout-Tagout, a workplace safety system to prevent activation of machinery while a worker may be inside
  • Regional lockout, a technological practice to prevent media use in a location other than that for which it is intended to be sold

Search another word or see lockouton Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature