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


Poster issued by the government during the General Strike entitled 'To all workers in all trades', May 1926

image from Red Clydeside collection

The decision to call a General Strike was made by the Council of the Trade Union Congress in support of the miners who had begun a strike on 30 April against reduced wages and increased working hours imposed by the mine owners. With the primary focus on restraining its own membership, the TUC entered the general strike very poorly prepared and nine days after it started the general strike was called off.

It has often been said by left wing opponents of the TUC leadership that the trade union leaders never believed in the strike and only led it in order to prevent it being controlled by the workers; they led it in order to ensure its failure.

Ironically, the union leadership's efforts to stifle its radical wing had a contrary effect, in the months following the strike membership of the Communist Party swelled while unions lost 2 million members

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