Remembering the 40 hour strike – Walking Tour Glasgow

read the riot act

Saturday, 2nd February, 2019 – 12 p.m. Starts from George Square, City Centre.

With David Lees, Ewan Gibb and Henry Bell

To commemorate the centenary of the 40-hours strike there will be a walking tour on Saturday 2nd February.

Free event – all welcome.

During late January and early February 1919 workers in Glasgow and the surrounding area were joined by miners in the Lanarkshire and Fife coalfield in striking for a shorter working week. Trade unionists feared employers would take advantage of demobilised soldiers swelling the workforce to claw back improvements in pay and conditions won during wartime. The 40-hour strike was led by trade union activists in the unofficial Clyde Workers’ Committee who didn’t trust bosses, the government to build ‘homes fit for heroes’. Strikers attempted, and were partially successful, in building a general strike among workers across sectors, and targeted strategically important sectors such as transport and power generation. To achieve this they formed militant ‘flying pickets’ which also involved demobilised soldiers and housewives.

The tour will start at George Square, scene of the famous ‘battle’ on 31st January 1919 which led to troops being deployed in Glasgow and the arrest of the strike’s leaders. The walk will take in several other sites in the vicinity of the city centre that have a relation to the strike and the radical socialist politics of ‘Red Clydeside’.

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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