Employees are prohibited from striking according to the section 22 of Industrial Disputes Act 1947. Employees, who are working in a public utility service, cannot go on a strike without giving a notice of strike within the six weeks before striking. They can not go on strike either within fourteen days of providing the strike notice or before the expiry of the date of strike specified in any such notice. The same rule applies to the employers. Employers who are carrying on a public utility service can not lockout any of their employees without giving them a prior notice within six weeks before the lock out or within the fourteen days of giving such a notice. Moreover, the notice of strike or lockout is to be given in a prescribed manner showing the number of persons involved in the strike/lockout.
The notice of strike or lockout is not necessary when there is already a strike or lockout going on in the company. However, a notice should be issued on the day on which the lockout is declared just to intimate the appropriate authorities about the lockout.
The employer is supposed to report the number of notices of strikes received by him to the appropriate Government or the authority prescribed by the government within the five days of receiving such notices.
Illegal Strikes and Lock-Outs
A strike or a lock-out is illegal if it is declared in noncompliance with the section 22 (as defined above) of Industrial Disputes Act 1947, that is, if the notice period is not served or if the strike is held within the fourteen days of issuing the notice of strike. If a strike or lockout has already taken place and is being referred to a Board, the continuance of such a strike or lock out is not illegal provided it is in compliance with the provisions of act. Moreover, a lockout declared in consequence of an illegal strike or a strike declared in consequence of an illegal lock-out shall not be deemed to be illegal.
Penalty for Illegal Strikes and Lock-outs
A workman who is involved in an illegal strike can be penalized with imprisonment for a term extendable to a month or with a fine or fifty rupees or both. In similar way, an employer who initiates and continues a lockout is punishable with imprisonment extendable to a month or with a fine of one thousand rupees or both.
According to Section 25 of Industrial Disputes Act 1947, no person should provide any sort of financial aid to any illegal strike or lock-out. Any person who knowingly provides such a help in support of any illegal strike or lock-out is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.