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


Cartoon entitled 'The great delusion', 25 Feb 1915

image from Red Clydeside collection

The Socialist newspaper Forward consistently reminded its readership that even during war-time the British government would remain operating in the interests of the capitalist classes and not that of the workers.

Working class living standards in the industrial heartland of West Central Scotland had deteriorated badly between 1914 and 1915. During this period employers introduced wage reductions for workers at a time when the costs of rents and foods were rising.

This fall in the living standards of workers and their families angered many within the labour movement because it was seen as another example of capitalist exploitation. Landlords were raising rents to capitalise on the demand for housing in munitions areas and factory owners were profiting from large government orders for munitions, and yet workers living standards were being squeezed.

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