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


Leaflet entitled 'To the trade unionists of Scotland', May 1926

image from Red Clydeside collection

When the TUC General Council announced the end of the General Strike on the 12th May 1926 they sought from the Government a guarantee that there would be no victimization of strikers. The Conservative government under Stanley Baldwin refused to give this assurance, effectively giving the green light to the widespread non-unionisation of workplaces, non-reinstatement and blacklisting of trade union activists which followed.

It is estimated that in total tens of thousands of workers throughout Britain were victimised because of their trade union membership in the immediate aftermath of the strike. Many workers were forced to move from their home towns and cities to find work, sometimes using false names to escape detection from employers who were busy exchanging blacklists of strike activists to prevent them from getting jobs.

The two main Glasgow newspaper publishers, George Outram Ltd and James Hedderwick & Son, who were responsible for publishing the Glasgow Herald, Evening Times and Evening Citizen, were amongst the first employers in Scotland to adopt an anti-trade union employment policy within their publishing and printing arms. Despite protests from employees and trade unions both these employers maintained there anti-trade union stance until the beginning of the Second World War.

Source: Glasgow Trades Council Collection, Glasgow City Archives