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English definition of “work-to-rule”

work-to-rule

noun [C, usually singular]     /ˌwɜːktəˈruːl/ UK (US work-to-contract)
WORKPLACE a situation in which employees only do as much work as their contracts say they must do, as a way of showing that they are unhappy about pay , conditions , etc., but do not strike (= stop working completely ): On Thursday the airline had to charter 10 aircraft to counter industrial action by its pilots , who are on a work-to-rule.
(Definition of work-to-rule noun from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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