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Strikes and other union activity

action

noun

the process of stopping work or working less effectively in order to protest about your pay, working conditions etc. This kind of action is also called industrial action

blackleg

noun

someone who continues to work when the other people they work with are on strike

collective bargaining

noun

discussions between employers and trade unions about pay and working conditions

come out

to stop working as a protest

cooling-off period

noun

a pause in an argument, especially one between a company’s management and employees, that gives people time to think calmly about how to reach an agreement

direct action

noun

action such as protests and strikes that workers take in order to force employers to agree to what they want

flying picket

noun

someone who travels around to places where workers are on strike, and helps them to stop other people from working there

general strike

noun

a situation in which all or most of the workers in a particular industry or country stop working in order to force their employers to provide better conditions or higher pay

go out on strike

to stop working as a protest

go-slow

noun

a situation in which workers protest about something by working more slowly than usual

grievance procedure

noun

a formal series of actions that an employee has to go through when they want to complain officially about the way that they have been treated at work

industrial action

noun

a protest in which workers show that they disagree with a policy of their employer, for example by striking (=refusing to work)

industrial dispute

noun

a disagreement between workers and their employer

industrial relations

noun

the relationship between the workers and managers in an industry or company

industrial tribunal

noun

a court in the UK where workers can bring complaints against their employers

lightning strike

noun

a form of protest in which workers stop doing their jobs without giving their employers any warning

lock out

if a company locks out its workers, it closes their place of work so that they cannot go to work until they agree to the employer’s conditions

lockout

noun

a situation in which a company refuses to allow workers to come to work until they accept the working conditions that the company is offering them

out

adverb, preposition

used for saying that workers are on strike (=have stopped work in order to protest)

picket

noun

a group of people who are protesting about something outside a building, especially a group of workers who are on strike and are encouraging other workers not to work

picket

noun

someone who is part of a picket

picket

verb

to take part in a protest outside a building, especially as part of a strike. Protests like this are called picketing

picket line

noun

a picket. Workers who cross a picket line continue to work while other workers are on strike.

restrictive practices

noun

unfair limits that workers or employers put on the rights of others in order to protect their own interests

scab

noun

an insulting word for someone who continues to work when the people who they work with are on strike (=not working as a protest)

sit-down

adjective

a sit-down strike, protest etc is a protest in which people sit down in order to stop a business from operating until their demands are listened to

slowdown

noun

a go-slow

stoppage

noun

a time when people stop working as a protest

strike

verb

to refuse to work for a period of time as a protest about your pay or conditions of work

strike

noun

a period of time during which people refuse to work, as a protest about pay or conditions of work

strikebreaker

noun

a worker who refuses to take part in a strike, or a worker who does the job of someone who is taking part in a strike

strike pay

noun

money paid to workers by their union during a strike

striker

noun

a worker who is taking part in a strike

sympathy strike

noun

an occasion when workers stop working as a protest to show their support for another group of workers who have gone on strike

walk out

to stop working as a way of protesting about something

walkout

noun

a form of protest in which someone leaves a place, or a group of workers stop working and leave the building

wildcat strike

noun

a lightning strike

work-to-rule

noun

a situation in which workers protest by doing only the exact work that their contract says they must do

strikebreaking

noun

break a strike

to end a situation in which workers have been on strike

break a strike

to start working again when you have been on strike

down tools

to stop working, especially as a protest

withdraw (your) labour

to refuse to work because of a disagreement about working hours, pay etc

work to rule

to do only what the rules at work say you must do and nothing more, as a form of protest

mom jeans

a style of loose-fitting jeans with a high waist, often considered unfashionable

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