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collections
Singer strike, 1911
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Conversation with Bill Lang

Arthur McIvor and Hugh McGuinness in conversation with Bill Lang, recorded 29 January 1988. An alternative date provided is 17 May 1988; this is unlikely to be accurate.

  • sound recording (1h 6m 8s) and transcript

Bill Lang was employed at the Singer sowing machine plant c.1911-c.1918.

Conversation with David Bennett

Arthur McIvor in conversation with David Bennett, 18 September 1988.

  • sound recording (1h 0m 13s) and transcript

Bennett, David, b. 1894, worker at Singer sowing machine plant, Clydebank

Conversation with John Rae, Anne Rae, Jane Rae, and Norman Rae

Arthur McIvor in conversation with kin of Singer striker Jane Rae, among them Jane Rae's brother John and her niece of the same name. Recorded either 13 May 1988 or 3 November 1988.

  • sound recording (1h 33m 57s), no transcript

Jane Rae (1872-1959) worked in the needle-making department of the Singer sowing machine works and was one of those who objected to American scientific management methods introduced at the factory. She was one of the 400-1000 (accounts vary) who were sacked for participating in the industrial action. Around the time of he strike, Rae became an ILP activist.

Singer strike, 1911

  • GB 249 SOHC 2
  • Collection
  • Original recordings, 1988

Conversations between members of Glasgow Labour History Workshop and former Singer employees, discussing working conditions and the strike at the Singer sewing machine plant in Clydebank, Scotland, March / April 1911.

Clydeside industrialists began to introduce scientific management practices in 1910. The Singer sewing machine plant in Clydebank became the site of the first explicit confrontation between capital and labour in Scotland resulting from the ensuing reorganisation of work processes. Within two days of twelve female cabinet polishers going on strike, the Singer works became paralysed as the majority of the 11,000 workforce joined in.

University of Strathclyde | Scottish Oral History Centre