Last Updated 11 May 2021

Boycott and Lockout as an Anti Impasse Weapon

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In this study, Collective bargaining takes place between workers` unions and employers or employersorganization. Workers form and join the union which represents and protect their interest against employers. Labor unions can be formed by industry, sector, region etc.

Similarly, employers or organizations also can form group or union according to their common interest and objectives. By forming groups, unions and organizations both side gain power of ‘collective voice’ against each other. Collective bargaining has also various advantages and useful aspects for both concerning parties. It provides meaning and power to the agreements related to wages, working conditions made by two sides. By this way employers and workers union can easily define the rules governing their relationship. Usually parties bargain in good fair, make an agreement, maintain consensus point and satisfy each other with their demand. But not always it works, when they fail to resolve the disputes, occurs conflict between parties. In the labor market this deadlock situation is called an impasse. When parties reach an impasse situation, they are using economic weapons against each other to maneuver. Employees pressures employers by going to strike and boycott in order to get what they demand from them. Similarly, employers organize lockout and by stopping production to exert pressure on employees.

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These actions are lawful when performed in peaceful manner and controlled not to allow to occur violence during the action. Labor disputes survey Boycott Labor union makes use of boycott as an economic weapon against employers when conflict occurs between them. The boycott is attempt made by labor union to influence the employer directly or indirectly. When occurs conflict between union and employer, members of the union refuses work for the employer and cease business dealings with them. his type of directly influencing is called primarily boycott. When members of the union attempt to coerce the employer through suppliers and customers of the employer or through third parties, it is called secondary boycott. Secondary type of boycott is more effective than primarily and it is illegal. It can be lawful and allowed when limited conditions are met. Lockout Employers utilize the lockout as their economic weapon against unions. Just like unions, employers also have to enhance their position in collective bargaining.

Employers lock out their workers in slow season gain some advantage over union, so they ensure their labor issues for further busiest season. Thus, they maneuver over labor union. Employers use it rarely, although lockout is their primarily economic weapon against labor unions. During lockout timeframe employers can hire temporary replacements but it is legal to hire permanent replacements. Royal Mail Strike CWU used strike action as a economic weapon against Royal Mail as they failed to make agreement and solve dispute over pay, working conditions and modernization. Union’s strike action which took place before the busy season urged Royal Mail to negotiate with them. At least they decided to have ‘period of calm’ in which both side make long term deal by considering each other’s interest and solve the modernization issue.


Sometimes in labor market impasse situation occurs, when employers and union fail to solve dispute between them. One of the parties uses economic weapon against other such as strike and lockout so that they can have power in bargaining. In this study, nature of collective bargaining is argued,

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