The Upper Clyde Shipyards (UCS) Struggle (1971 – Cinema Action)


UCS1 is perhaps the most lively of Cinema Action’s campaign films. Its short length carries considerable conviction. Most notably, the determination of the shipyard workers is conveyed by the cut to black and the fade-in on union leader Jimmy Reid announcing to a sea of faces, framed by cranes, that the yards are under the workers’ occupation. Reid’s colleague Jimmy Airlie’s more reflective appeal brings the film to a nonetheless forceful conclusion.
A joint shop stewards’ committee successfully ran the occupation of Upper Clyde shipyards for fourteen months until February 1972. It was an unprecedented response to the government’s plan to liquidate the yards. Since the only other media contact by the shop stewards was press conferences, Cinema Action’s footage inside the yards is unique. Class Struggle: Film from the Clyde (d. Cinema Action, 1977) tells the whole story of the dispute and the occupation. Cinema Action returned again to the Upper Clyde in 1983 for Rocking the Boat which caught up movingly with veterans of the 1971-2 action

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