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


Leaflet entitled 'Stand solid and win', May 1926

image from Red Clydeside collection

Launched in 1924, the Minority Movement was a CPGB inspired group that argued for a United Front within the trade unions as an effective way of resisting attacks on working-class living standards. The task of the Minority Movement was declared to be "not to organise independent revolutionary trade unions or to split revolutionary elements away from existing organisations affiliated to the TUC...but to convert the revolutionary minority within each industry into a revolutionary majority."

The Minority Movement attempted to build a rank and file movement based around sympathetic trade union members and to forge alliances with left wing union leaders. The CPGB was partially succesful in affiliating some trade union branches and Trades Councils to the Minority Movement as well as a number of Left-wing trade union leaders.

By the time of it's Third Annual Conference in 1926, the Minority Movement had registered substantial growth with 883 delegates representing over 957,000 workers with the majority of their support coming from transport, railway and engineering workers. From its inception in 1924 the influence of the NMM spread throughout the trade union movement and the TUC began to become increasingly influenced by the initiatives of the Minority Movement. This was brought to an abrupt halt by the trade unions defeat in the General Strike of 1926.

Source: Glasgow Trades Council Collection, Glasgow City Archives