down tools(redirected from lay 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.
lay down toolsBRITISH
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.