Article 61/2021

Labour Edge

What is the purpose of a lockout?


In Transport and Allied Workers Union of SA v Putco Ltd (2016) 37 ILJ 1091 (CC), at paragraph [32], it was held as follows in this regard:

‘The purpose of a lockout in terms of s213 is to compel employees whose trade union is party to certain negotiations to accede to an employer’s demand. Its object is to end a stalemate reached as a result of an impasse in negotiations between employer and employee in respect of matters of ‘mutual interest’. A resolution of a dispute can be reached only between adversaries. As a matter of logic, then, there must be a dispute between an employer and employees or their trade union before a lockout is instituted. Accordingly, any exclusion of employees from an employer’s workplace that is not preceded by a demand in respect of a disputed matter of mutual interest does not qualify as a lock­out in terms of s213 of the LRA.’

It is settled law that one of the requirements of a lockout is that it is to be preceded by a demand from the employer in respect of a matter of mutual interest.  Does this equate to a lockout notice?

What are the requirements to be met for an urgent application to be granted in the labour court?

To what extent is a nexus between a primary and secondary employer required for the secondary strike to be lawful?