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 ?
Unite officials said the company had threatened to lock the workers out if they proceeded to down tools.
Unless it's Rangers - who also have a glamour friendly against Chelsea booked for that date - it could mean another member club having to down tools.
Summary: General Union of Bahraini Workers looks set to down tools.
But Cockney Proud didn't down tools and came back to poke his head in front where it mattered most to beat Tyrur Kerill by a neck in 24.
Workers in business premises in and around Villiers Street in Sunderland city centre were forced to down tools after a fire in a former car repair centre.
The software saves time tracking down tools and equipment for upcoming jobs.
The Communication Workers Union said its members in the city and Liverpool, Stockport, Oldham, Crewe, Oxford and Bolton will down tools and walk out on December 19 - the day before the last Christmas posting day for first-class letters.
Officers asked workmen to down tools and questioned them about their credential as they hunted 'fiddlers on the roof' ripping off pensioners.
Staff in Middlesbrough are due to down tools between 6pm on Monday, October 15, and 6pm on Tuesday, October 16.
Unions at Concentric Pumps in Erdington are planning to down tools for two periods of seven days in a dispute centred on a 2.
Any strike could see up to 2,000 mechanics, technicians, ramp workers and luggage handlers down tools, effectively crippling SAS's Swedish operations, reports The Associated Press.
Workers in the firm's 70-strong purchasing department have voted to down tools in protest at plans to ship the team some 240 miles down south.
Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members will down tools for a few hours each day between August 9 and August 16.
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.
TEACHERS across the UK have threatened to down tools and walk out of classrooms this autumn if their demands are not met.