Will Gallacher 1915
This leaflet, printed on both sides was issue by the C.W.C. sometime between June and August 1915. It seems to be by Gallacher on behalf of the C.W.C. (689 words)
Since the outbreak of the European War, many changes have been brought about of vital interest to the workers. Foremost amongst these has been the scrapping of Trade Union Rules, and the consequent undermining of the whole Trade Union Movement. To the intelligent workers it has been increasingly clear that the officials have failed to grasp the significance of these changes, and as a result have been unable to formulate a policy that would adequately protect the interests of those workers whom they are supposed to represent.
The support given to the Munitions Act by the Officials was an act of Treachery to the Working Class. Those of us who refused to be Sold have organised the above Committee, representative of All Trades in the Clyde area, determined to retain what liberties we have, and to take the first opportunity of forcing the repeal of all the pernicious legislation that has recently been imposed upon us. In the words of a Manifesto issued by the Trade Union Rights Committee, recently formed in London:-
“Let us preserve what rights still remain and refuse steadfastly to surrender another inch to our allied foes – the capitalists and politicians. The liberty and freedom of the organized worker is the one thing; our fight is the fight that matters, and now is the time to act.”
It is composed of Delegates or Shop Stewards from all Trades in the Glasgow area, and is open to all such bona fide workers. The progressives in all Trades are invited to attend. Its origin goes back to the last big strike of February, 1915, when action was taken to force the [2nd side of leaflet] demand put forward for an increase of 2d. per hour in the Engineering industry. At that time a Committee known as the Labour Withholding Committee was set up, representative of the different Trades in the industry, to organise the strike, and notwithstanding the fierce opposition from public opinion, employers, Government,and our own officials alike, that committee managed and carried through probably the best organised strike in the annals of Clyde history, and brought about closer working unity amongst the rank and file of the different Trades than years of official effort. It became obvious then that such a Committee permanently established would be valuable to workers, and with that purpose in view the Committee was kept in being after the termination of the strike.
Recently, when the three Govan shipwrights were locked up under the Munitions Act, many appeals were sent to the Committee to again take action. In answer to those appeals the Committee called its forces together and discussed certain lines of action, and, despite all reports to the contrary, it was through “the powers that be” getting to know that the Committee was again at work, that ultimately forced the release of the three shipwrights.
At this juncture it was considered advisable to change the name of this body, and from now on it will be known as the Clyde Workers’ Committee (C.W.C)
Our purpose must not be misconstrued, we are out for unity and closer organisation of all trades in the industry, one Union being the ultimate aim. We will support the officials just ‘so long as they rightly represent the workers, but we will act independently immediately they misrepresent them. Being composed of Delegates from every shop, and untrammelled by obsolete rule or law, we claim to represent the true feeling of the workers. We can act immediately according to the merits of the case and the desire of the rank and file.
The following Trades are at present represented on the Committee. All other Trades are kindly invited to become attached. All Shop Stewards welcome:- Toolmakers, Boilermakers, Blacksmiths, Shipwrights, Coppersmiths, Brassfinishers, Patternrnakers, Miners, Tinsmiths, Sheet-iron Workers, Electrical Trades, joiners, Gas and General Workers, School Teachers, Coopers.
For further information see your Shop Steward. Speakers will be sent on request to Work Gates, Districts, and generally be at the convenience of the workers.
Signed on behalf of the Committee,
WM. GALLACHER, President.
J.M. MESSER, Secretary,
408 Allison Street.