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 ?
FBU members will down tools between noon and 2pm and again from 11pm to midnight each day over the eight-day period.
Householders are starting to down tools and turn their backs on DIY, a new report suggests.
MORE than 200 workers at an engineering plant in Coventry are set to down tools in a bitter row over pay.
SHARABY has appeared to down tools in the past when holding every chance and layers on Betfair expected her to do the same again in the 3.10 at Redcar yesterday when travelling in the front rank approaching the final furlong.
'Workers did down tools this afternoon, but we are not stopping them going on the march and understand it is a very difficult time for everyone involved.'
No drivers will take part in the action but services could still be affected if engineers down tools in the next few weeks - clashing with the busy Glasgow 2014 schedule.
The enlightened poor are the workers who down tools and demand that the Con/Dem government cease robbing the public sector in cheap sell-offs to the pampered private sector and properly fund the NHS and welfare state from the huge amounts of wealth that ordinary workers have created.
Norman Robertson Newton Aycliffe Co Durham IF Francis Maude brings in the threatened anti-strike laws, every worker in this country should down tools in protest.
Manchester City star Emmanuel Adebayor and Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic have threatened to down tools if they are denied moves this week.
Centro bus shelter installation teams were forced to down tools and wait for the City Council road workers to repair the pavement.
The stand-off started on May 30 after protestors campaigning against a new water supply at Pallaskenry forced workers to down tools.
Performing set tasks, they would down tools if one of them got a bigger reward than another.
Workers at Alstom Power are threatening to down tools in the new year over plans to pay loyalty bonuses to only a few of those being made redundant from the Newbold Road plant.
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.
"The reality is players at our level do not earn enough money to be able to down tools, rest on their laurels and retire from the game.