Saturday, September 21, 2013

100th Anniversary - Kilbirnie Women Workers Strike 1913

Women workers in the numerous fishing net factories of Kilbirnie (Ayrshie, Scotland) entered into a battle to secure improved pay and union recognition.

Led by Kate McLean organiser of the National Union of Women Workers who had established a local branch in 1912, 

The dispute amongst the women working in the fishing net factories was fought for 22 weeks, there were frequent skirmishes with the police, but with the help of the Scottish Trades Union Congress, who raised £1,300 in financial support, the strike was finally settled in September 1913 with an agreement which included union recognition and non-victimisation of strikers. 

However, the dispute continued to flare up in factories were the women refused to work alongside non union workers.

Kilbirnie Women workers strike picnic 9th June 1913


Banners in top photo of Kilbrinie women workers include National Federation of Women Workers - Kilbirnie branch banner (centre) and a local Kilbrinie banner  (right) can make out words top line Kilbrinie xxxx Strike and second United and Firm We Stand. Back left Daily Citizen (newspaper) banner