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


Leaflet entitled 'National strike aftermath - To the citizens of Glasgow', Sep 1927

image from Red Clydeside collection

The immediate aftermath of the General Strike of 1926 proved to be a bitter experience for many workers. Many employers, sensing the bewilderment and turmoil within the trade union movement attempted to turn the workers defeat into a rout by introducing non-unionised policies into their works and by refusing to reinstate trade unionists. In some trades, such as railways and printing, workers suffered widespread victimisation. Glasgow Tramways refused to reinstate 316 employees after the strike and Glasgow newspaper publishers George Outram introduced a non-unionised workforce policy.

There was widespread suspicions within the movement that a blacklist was being circulated amongst employers as many ordinary trade unionists who played an active role during the General Strike found it extremely difficult to find employment after the strike, with many remaining unemployed for years afterwards.

The real extent of victimisation, however, is very difficult to estimate because besides the dismissal of militants and the replacement of workers by volunteers, there was also an increase in redundancy due to the reduced circumstances of many trades. Nevertheless most employers tried to reinstate their men under new conditions which meant new bargaining arrangements and in many cases substantial wage cuts.

Source: Glasgow Trades Council Collection, Glasgow City Archives