Many sports fans keep alluding to the fact that if the CBA negotiations fail and there truly is a lockout in 2011 we would get to see another version of NFL Scabs, Replacements II, or any other catchy term. This will not happen. If the lockout happens there will be NO football and the owners will be the ones to blame. Lockout means just that. You, NFL football player, don't have a place to play. We're taking our ball and going home.
There is a huge difference between a strike and a lockout. Below is an explanation of the two.
Strike vs. Lockout
A strike is a concerted action or combined effort by a labor union designed to exert pressure on an employer to accede to certain demands. Today, the right to strike by employees is usually governed by the National Labor Relations Act, enacted during the New Deal and often called the "Magna Carta of Labor."
In professional sports, strikes have occurred with some frequency over the last three decades. In addition to the 1994 strike, baseball endured strikes in 1972 and 1981. In football, strikes occurred in 1970, 1982 and 1987. If the contract with the league (known as a "collective bargaining agreement") expires or an impasse (a point where negotiations break down after a period of intense, good faith talks) occurs, then the players can strike. A strike may be the failure to report to training camp or play games.
The strike is the primary weapon to force the owners to either adhere to the players demands, compromise or get back to the negotiating table. In some cases, the collective bargaining agreement may have a a no-strike clause (as in the case with baseball umpires) eliminating this option.
It is important to note that in a strike for economic reasons (which constitute the overwhelming majority of strikes) the strikers may be replaced. Also, the longer the strike lasts, the weaker the union. A very powerful union can walk off the job and the employers may capitulate. Until 1994, that is what happened in baseball strikes. The fact that the 1994 strike lasted as long as it did showed that the owners had some resolve to live without the players and to sacrifice the post season.
A lockout, on theother hand, is the employer counterpart of a strike. In a lockout, the employer prevents the players from working in an effort to gain a better bargaining position in labor negotiations. A lockout may occur upon the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement. This tactic was used to great effect when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman ordered it in 1995 and when the NBA Commissioner David Stern did the same three years later. Lockouts also have occurred in baseball (1990). The lockout gives the employer the tactical advantage because the timing is made by the league (in the case of sports), rather than the players' union. Unemployment benefits may accrue to employees who are locked out as opposed to employees on strike.