Grievances and conflicts are an inevitable part of the employment relationship. The objective of public policy is to manage conflict and promote sound labour relations by creating a system for the effective prevention and settlement of labour disputes.
Work stoppages can be strikes or lockouts. A strike is a temporary work stoppage carried out by one or more groups of workers to enforce or resist demands or express grievances, or support other workers in their demands or grievances, while a lockout is the total or partial temporary closure of one or more places of employment, or the hindering of the normal work activities of employees, by one or more employers to enforce or resist demands or express grievances, or support other employers in their demands or grievances.
The number, frequency, duration and scope of strikes and lockouts all have a great impact on the labour market, the economy and workers’ well-being. Thus, it is important to have reliable and timely statistics to assess the social and economic effect of work stoppages, as well as to understand trends, identify challenges in dispute resolution and design appropriate campaigns and policies.