The Scottish Horse and Motormen's Association was established in 1898. In 1964, its name was changed to the Scottish Commercial Motormen's Union.
An Aberdeen branch of the union was established in 1911, and by 1912 had successfully negotiated a small increase in carters' wages, which had been described by Aberdeen Trades Council at that time as "deplorable" (William Diack, Trade Unionism in Aberdeen, (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1939), p. 214). The union produced similar wage agreements for motormen, and by the early twentieth century had reduced its members' weekly working hours to 48, and negotiated one week's paid annual leave. By 1939 branch membership stood at over 1000.
Further information about the development of the trade union movement and the history of individual trade unions in Aberdeen can be found in William Diack, History of the Trades Council and the Trade Union Movement in Aberdeen (Aberdeen: Aberdeen Trades Council, 1939), and in Kenneth D. Buckley, Trade Unionism in Aberdeen 1870 - 1900 (Edinburgh and London: Oliver and Boyd, 1955). Arthur Marsh and Victoria Ryan, Historical Directory of Trade Unions, 4 vols (Aldershot: Gower, 1980 - 1984) also contains useful information about the development of individual unions, at both the national and local level. Summarised details from each of these sources has been used in compiling this collection level description.