In 1971 the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders went into receivership and the then Conservative government refused it a ??6million
In 1971 the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders went into receivership and the then Conservative government refused it a ??6million loan. Rather than follow traditional industrial action protocol and hold a strike, the shipbuilders instead started a ???work-in', stating that they would complete all the orders that the shipyards had in place.The innovative action taken by Jimmy Reid and his fellow workers inspired many other work-ins in the 1970s.In February 1972 the government relented and two of the yards were kept open.Our picture shows: shouldered by cheering students, UCS shop stewards leader Jimmy Reid, on hearing news that he has been elected Rector of Glasgow University 25th October 1971. *** Local Caption *** The UCS workers won massive support both nationally and internationally from the trade union movement as well as from the Labour Party and the Scottish National Party. 6,000 jobs were on the line, with the multiplier" factor putting twice as many at risk in those industries which fed into shipbuilding. In the early 20th century the Clyde had been a world centre of shipbuilding and, despite the post-war decline, remained part of the culture and way of life of the area. If shipbuilding died, given the high levels of unemployment outside the industry there would be no alternative employment.In February 1972 the government relented and two of the yards were kept open.The key idea behind the work-in is that of workers actively reclaiming some of the power abrogated to management and government in the running of industry. It was labelled "industrial democracy" by moderates or "workers' control" by those seeking a more revolutionary change in the organisation of industry."
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