The 1991 Act allows the employer to lock out an industry as an extreme measure during the process of negotiating a collective agreement. The procedural conditions are similar to those that apply to unions when they call a strike. Thus, the employer is required to lay off three days in advance and a lockout may be illegal for the reasons mentioned above for strikes. Workers affected by a legal lockout are entitled to a payment at the half rate of their normal rate. The Law on Collective Agreements (No. 2/1991 in the Collection of Laws), as amended, defines the terms of collective disputes between employers and unions, regulates the organization of trade union actions and provides for mediation and arbitration procedures before any action. The contracting parties are responsible for complying with their provisions. The Collective Agreements Act of 1991, as amended, governs strikes. A strike is defined as a partial or total work stoppage by employees. The law implies a peace clause in collective agreements – that is, both parties are required to preserve “social peace” after a collective agreement is concluded. Strikes can also be organised in solidarity with workers from other companies or organisations; These strikes are intended to assist striking workers in the dispute over the conclusion of their collective agreement. A strike notice must be sent in writing at least three working days before the strike begins.
The notice indicates the start date, the strike objectives and the names of the union representatives who lead the strikers. One of the fundamental principles of the code is the prohibition of work stoppages for the duration of a collective agreement. This means that disputes that arise during this Parliament must be resolved without strike or lockout. A proposal to appoint a mediator to assist in the conclusion of a collective agreement cannot be submitted until at least 60 days have been made available since a written proposal by one of the negotiating parties for the conclusion of a new collective agreement and the opening of negotiations (SK0210102F). Mediation takes place only if the parties wish and is intended to bring both parties to an agreement in a collective dispute. Any adult citizen or legal entity can act as a mediator and be placed on an official list of mediators (the same applies to arbitrators). If the parties do not agree on a mediator, one of the parties may ask the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family (hereafter referred to as the ministry) for a party to be designated from a list maintained by the ministry. Parties who have entered into a collective agreement must submit the collective agreement and accompanying documents to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health within one month of the signing of the collective agreement. The employer must submit a copy of the agreement in writing and by e-mail so that the common law agreement can be published on the Internet.