Red Clydeside: A history of the labour movement in Glasgow 1910-1932


Harry McShane(centre) with John McGovern (right) preparing for unemployment march from Glasgow, 1930-1935

image from Red Clydeside collection

Photograph of Harry McShane and fellow members of the National Unemployed Workers' Movement preparing for unemployment march from Glasgow in the 1930s.

The National Unemployed Workers Movement was formed in 1921 out of the demobilised sailors' and soldiers' associations, primarily to organise the unemployed and agitate for 'work or full maintenance'. The NUWM was dominated by members of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) and was active on a host of issues including rent strikes, campaigns against evictions, campaigns against labour camps and a high-profile campaign against the means test.

At the height of the depression years around ten per cent of Britain's unemployed were involved in the NUWM and around one million people passed through its ranks.

Source: Gallacher Memorial Library, Glasgow Caledonian University Special Collections and Archives