down tools


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down tools

To refuse to work, usually in an attempt to force improvement in one's working conditions. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Sir, I'm afraid the workers will down tools if we don't offer them a better contract.
See also: down, tool

down tools

or

lay down tools

BRITISH
If a group of people down tools or lay down tools, they stop working, often in order to protest about something. In August, the workers at this shipyard downed tools and went on strike for pay increases. Metal workers, engineers, waiters and cooks are among those who have laid down tools this week.
See also: down, tool

down tools

stop work, typically as a form of industrial action. British informal
See also: down, tool

ˌdown ˈtools

(British English) stop work, either at the end of the day or to go on strike: The workers have threatened to down tools as a protest against the dismissals.
See also: down, tool
References in periodicals archive ?
More than 200 workers at Federal Mogul in Coventry are set to down tools on Monday.
Trouble started when employees of the Pari Mutuel Hippodrome, the on-course Tote, elected to down tools over pay after a union meeting before the first race.
100 scaffolders down tools at Staythorpe and Ratcliffe, Notts
GMB members at Rem-ploy's Central Cutting Unit in Wallasey voted to down tools on February 6 and 7,13 and 14 and 20 and 21.
The Public and Commercial Services union said 2500 staff at seven offices, including Glasgow and London, would down tools.
About 800 members of the Amicus union at Alstom Power are being asked if they are prepared to down tools in the new year.
HOUSE building more than halved in the three months to February as the bunged-up mortgage market forced firms to down tools.
Workers from the Runcorn distribution centre who deliver everything from bedpans to food to hospitals will down tools.
Unions aligned to ICTU have been asked to ballot on industrial action that would see tens of thousands down tools and abandoning offices around the country.
Highways, park and grounds maintenance, and street lighting staff from across Liverpool will also down tools on Friday, June 16.
Criminals could walk free if fiscals down tools after their extraordinary general meeting in the next four weeks.
The collapse of others, such as Woolworths and MFI, has also forced suppliers to down tools.
About 300 members of the T&G trade union could down tools, although officials today said an emergency call-out service would operate to make sure council tenants did not suffer.
HUNDREDS of construction workers on Liverpool's Paradise project are threatening to down tools over a pay row.