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Glass panel by George Walton

First Scottish Trades Union Congress

Burrell Collection Photo Library

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First Scottish Trades Union Congress

Delegates to the first Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) meeting at St Andrew's Halls.

The STUC was formed in Glasgow in March 1897 after a disagreement between Scottish trades councils and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) of Great Britain over the issue of political representation for the Labour movement. The new organisation was independent of the TUC and aimed to ensure that "in any scheme for the government of Scotland provision should be made for the same industrial legislation being applied throughout Great Britain." The two institutions remain independent today, but continue to co-operate on labour issues.

Third from the left in the front row is a female delegate to the congress. Women were active in the STUC from its foundation. In 1897 Miss M H Irwin won most votes in the elections for the first Parliamentary Committee (later known as the General Council), the governing body of the Congress. She refused to stand for chairman because she felt that the organisation was not yet ready for a woman chairman. However, she became the Parliamentary Secretary and was also Secretary of the Scottish Council for Women's Trade.

Reference: 1420.78.163

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums

Keywords:
labour activists, Scottish Trades Union Congress, St Andrew's Halls, STUC, trade unions, Trades Union Congress, TUC, women



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