Lockout (industry) - Examples - United States

United States

In the United States, under federal labor law, an employer may hire only temporary replacements during a lockout. In a strike, unless it is an unfair labor practice (ULP) strike, an employer may legally hire permanent replacements. Also, in many U.S. states, employees who are locked out are eligible to receive unemployment benefits, but are not eligible for such benefits during a strike.

For the above reasons, many American employers have historically been reluctant to impose lockouts, instead attempting to provoke a strike. However, as American unions have increasingly begun to resort to slowdowns rather than strikes, lockouts have become a more common tactic of many employers. Even as incidents of strikes are on the decline, incidents of lockouts are on the rise in the U.S.

Recent notable lockout incidents have been reported in professional sports, notably involving Major League Baseball in the 1990 offseason, the National Basketball Association in the 1995 offseason, the 1996 offseason, and the 1998–99 and 2011–12 seasons, the National Hockey League in the 1994–95, 2004–05 and 2012-13 seasons, and the National Football League in the 2011 offseason. The controversial 2012 NFL referee lockout only involved referees and not players. In 2005, the NHL became the first major professional sports league in North America to cancel an entire season due to a lockout.

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