Records of Glasgow District Trades Council, trades council, Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Annual reports and balance sheets 1889-1966 [incomplete series, missing 1891-1892, 1894-1896, 1908-1909, 1911-1912, 1914-1915, 1927-1949, 1951, 1955, 1963, 1964]

Administrative / Biographical History

The Glasgow United Trades Council was formed in 1858  in Glasgow, Scotland. The Council consisted of delegates from the various different trade unions found in the industries of Glasgow. In 1864 , the Council played host to the first ever conference of British trades unions and was involved in the formation of the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) in 1897 . At the Congress’ 1903 meeting, the Glasgow Council sent 250 delegates, the largest number that year from any one council.

In 1904 , the council became known as the Glasgow Trades Council becoming the Glasgow Trades & Labour Council by 1918 . By 1950 , the Council had become the Glasgow District Trades Council and was in existence until at least 1966.

The Council supported the Unions in their support of the workers of Glasgow but also had an interest from the 1860s onwards in the master-servant relations of workers and the criminalisation of picketing. In 1915, the Council supported the Clydeside wage strike seeking a rise of 2d an hour and the rent strikes in protest of land lords rent increases. Both actions were successful with the Government passing the Rent Restrictions Act in December 1915. In 1913, the Council had opposed the Conscription Bill, seeing conscription as "dangerous to national stability and opposed to the principles of freedom".

In 1951, the Dunoon Congress of the STUC agreed to support the peace talks between the united post-war allies but defeated a miner’s amendment that encapsulated a Russian communist agenda for peace. The Glasgow District Trades Council circulated an edited version of events to its affiliates and later agreed the defeated amendment. The STUC reminded Glasgow that the Trades Council Handbook forbade adoption of motions that contravened STUC policy or allowed the Council to act on a motion before it had been presented to Council or Congress. Glasgow refused to act on this and the STUC agreed to dissolve Glasgow Trades Council. The Council gained an interim interdict to prevent seizure of its premises and issued circulars to the unions presenting its actions an a defence of the independence of an organisation formed in 1858 against a bullying Congress half its age. The issue went to the Glasgow Sheriff Court and a compromise was reached allowing the STUC to form a new Glasgow District Trades Council but prohibiting it from taking control of the records, premises, staff and finances of the old council. The STUC wrote to the unions and affiliates asking them to withdraw from the old Council and join the new one. The new Glasgow Dictrict Trades Council was inaugurated in March 1952 with 596 delegates representing 271 branches of 61 unions.


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Acquisition Information

Gift : 2001 : ACCN 2001/24

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Custodial History

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Related Material

GB 1847 STUC Records of the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) (Glasgow Caledonian University Archives)

GB 0246 S38 Records of Glasgow Trades Council (Glasgow City Archives)

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Additional Information

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Geographical Names