Labour Code 2020: No strikes or lockout without notice

The modified Industrial Relations Code is aimed at releasing employees from the constraints of earlier labour laws.


Henceforth, as per the Industrial Relations Code, no employee or workers from an industrial establishment can go on strike without giving a 60-day notice of the strike to the employer. Nobody can go on strike within 14 days of giving such a notice or before the expiry of the date of strike specified in any such notice. A strike cannot be called if conciliation proceedings happen to be pending before a conciliation officer, nor can it be called within seven days of the conclusion of such proceedings, or if such proceedings are pending before a tribunal, or if aribitration proceedings are pending before an arbitrator, or 60 days after conclusion of such arbitration proceedings.

Employers of industrial establishments, on their part, also have to follow similar rules. They cannot lock out their workers without giving them notice of 60 days or before the expiry of the date of lockout specified in such a notice. Employers cannot lock out their employees if conciliation proceedings or arbitration proceedings are pending before a conciliation officer or arbitrator, respectively.

However, a strike or lockout declared in response to an illegal strike or a strike declared in response to an illegal lockout will not be considered illegal.

If there are more than one trade union in a concerned industrial establishment, the power to negotiate will go to the union that has membership of 51 per cent of the workers. If there is no such single union with more than 51 per cent membership of employees, the industrial establishment will have to form a negotiating council, which will include representatives from all the unions, which have a minimum of 20 per cent of employees as their members.

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