Labour struggles and the formation of demands: The spatial politics of Red Clydeside

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Abstract

This paper combines labour history and labour geography through an analysis of the making of labour demands in Glasgow during the early twentieth century. The paper asserts how revisiting histories such as Red Clydeside reveals complexities within labour movements and links to more recent debates within labour geography. Archival research provides a relational account of the place-based politics of Glasgow that emerged during the forty hours movement in 1919. This allows the paper to juxtapose the broader international linkages forged by Scottish workers alongside racialised hostilities within the city. In particular, the paper compares and contrasts the progressive internationalism of the strike newspaper with the Broomielaw race riot between local and foreign sailors during the same month as the strike. This comparison also raises the longer-term trajectories of labour grievances to foreground the ambivalent and contested nature of labour demands, identities and histories. In particular, the paper pays close attention to contrasting practices of labour internationalism emerging from the relevant archives. This historical approach makes a broader contribution to debates within labour geography by engaging with the complexities and tensions of labour organising and demand making.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-130
JournalGeoforum
Volume62
Early online date4 May 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015

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