From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 4 February
Employers in the US are increasingly turning to lockouts as a means of trying to intimidate unionised workers. “From the Cooper Tire factory in Findlay, Ohio, to a country club in southern California and sugar beet processing plants in North Dakota, employers are turning to lockouts to press their unionised workers to grant concessions after contract negotiations deadlock. Even the New York City Opera locked out its orchestra and singers for more than a week before settling the dispute last Wednesday.” (‘More lockouts as companies battle unions’ by Steven Greenhouse, New York Times, 22 January 2012)
Locked out workers are frequently replaced by substitutes from America’s huge line of unemployed, who receive little in the way of benefits.
Companies like American Crystal, which are in fact earning record profits, make unreasonable demands of their workers to accept lower wages and/or less advantageous working conditions and when the latter refuse to cooperate the companies lock them out on the pretext that the workers are holding their employers to ransom!