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


General Strike report of the Associated Iron, Steel and Brass Dressers of Scotland, May 1926

image from Red Clydeside collection

The effective flow of information between the TUC General Council and the different bodies organising the strike at regional, district and local levels was only made possible by the widespread use of volunteer couriers. These couriers, usually trade union officials, carried instructions from TUC headquarters to Central and Local Strike Committees and to individual trade unions.

The same methods were used to relay messages back to the TUC on levels of local support, strike breaking incidents and requests for advice and help in solving problems at the local level. These reports proved vital in informing the TUC of the strength and support for the General Strike throughout the UK.

Many of the problems encountered by the grass roots during the strike were as a result of ambiguities in the strike messages sent to unions, where only certain members of an individual trade union were called out and others were granted exemptions by the TUC. An example being the widespread exemptions granted to building workers involved in the construction of hospital buildings and municipal housing whilst all other building workers were expected to heed the call to strike.

Source: Glasgow Trades Council Collection, Glasgow City Archives