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Class Struggle: Film from the Clyde (1977)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Workers and other members of the community explain the devastating consequences of the yards' closure. The Trade and Industry Secretary, John Davis, at a press conference.

A woman describes her family's connection with a yard over generations. A report on UCS, written by the Conservatives when in opposition. Union meeting attended by shop steward Jimmy Airlie. The government announces that two of the four yards will close. The following day, 30 July 1971, Jimmy Reid addresses a mass meeting and announces that the yards are in their hands. Workers discussing how the occupation should be run.

Discussions and work of the coordinating committee. Jimmy Reid suggests a newsletter. A group of workers reflecting later talk about the work-in and say that there was not complete workers' control because the committee had to enlist lower management. At a meeting of shop stewards and lower management on 6 August, Jimmy Airlie asks for their help and defends the occupation.

Support from other unions worldwide. The daily shop stewards' press conference on 9 August. Signwriters making placards. A meeting of 1200 shop stewards in Glasgow. Speakers from other unions describe their practical support.

Scenes of shipbuilding and women cleaners. Workers ignore the redundancy notices issued by the liquidator. Harold Wilson visits yards on 4 August and states his support. Tony Benn interviewed by a television crew. Vic Feather, General Secretary of the TUC, arrives for a meeting of the Scottish TUC on 6 August. Jimmy Airlie makes an impassioned speech to the meeting, during which Feather snoozes.

The influence of the work-in on other workers. Women occupying their factory in Fakenham describe the pressure they are put under by both employers and husbands. A solidarity meeting for the UCS at Coventry and a factory gate meeting at London Transport's Acton works.

The administration of the fighting fund is explained by a shop steward. The group of workers shown earlier reflect further. In October 1971, Dan McGarvey, president of the Boilermakers, is brought in to negotiate. John Davis explains at press conference that a new company will incorporate three of four yards. Scenes and noise of shipbuilding. Union negotiations with an American oil rig construction firm who will buy the company. A title states that 1087 redundancies were made and that the liquidator called the work-in a 'myth'. Reflections on the effect of the struggle. The march to Glasgow Green in summer 1971.