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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.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on lockout, visit Britannica.com.