Upper Clyde Shipbuilders a new play: Yes! Yes! U.C.S.!

Townsend Theatre Productions in association with Manchester University present the story of the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders (UCS) using their trademark integration of live rock and folk inspired music, sound and visual effects  to enhance the powerful theatrical story-telling, to intensify the emotional engagement and audience enthusiasm for meaningful and important messages of hope, social justice and improvements in quality of life. 

 “Yes! Yes! UCS!

Tell ‘em on the radio, tell ‘em in the press:

I want my job and I want no less!”

When the workers at Upper Clyde Shipbuilders’ (UCS) workers decided to take over the yards to continue building ships, they started a new form of struggle that inspired the whole Labour Movement. Trade unions, the Labour Party, the Communist Party, the local authorities, the churches, shop-keepers, even the children rallied to help the work-in.

Touring autumn 2021 & Spring 2022 SEE YOU THERE

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Townsend Theatre Productions in association with Manchester University present the story of UCS using their trademark integration of live rock and folk inspired music, sound and visual effects  to enhance the powerful theatrical story-telling, to intensify the emotional engagement and audience enthusiasm for meaningful and important messages of hope, social justice and improvements in quality of life. 

 “Yes! Yes! UCS!

Tell ‘em on the radio, tell ‘em in the press:

I want my job and I want no less!”

When the workers at Upper Clyde Shipbuilders’ (UCS) workers decided to take over the yards to continue building ships, they started a new form of struggle that inspired the whole Labour Movement. Trade unions, the Labour Party, the Communist Party, the local authorities, the churches, shop-keepers, even the children rallied to help the work-in.

Support came from all over Britain. Within a few weeks the fight to save jobs had become a national and international campaign for the right to work. A successful outcome depended on tight discipline, and shop steward Jimmy Reid famously instructed the workers that there should be:

"...no hooliganism, no vandalism and no bevvying: because the world is watching."

 80,000 people marched to Glasgow Green in support of the Work-In.

The worlds of music and poetry added their support to the shipyard workers’ campaign at a series of high-profile benefit concerts

starring Donovan, The Dubliners, The Laggan, Billy Connolly, Matt McGinn, Dominic Behan, Dick Gaughan, Jim McLean and Hamish Henderson.

 John Lennon and Yoko Ono sent flowers and donated £1,000 to the cause.

 More and more people came to see that victory for the principle of the right to work at UCS could be a turning point in the struggle against rising unemployment.

The UCS Work-In provided a release from the pent-up frustration of years.  It offered a means of finding positive expression.

As Jimmy Reid said:

“The Work-In was about a group of workers saying, 

we’re not going to negotiate redundancies; 

we’re not going to negotiate closures.

They’ve got no right to take economic decisions 

abstracted from their social consequences. 

We’re human beings;

we’ve got families; 

we belong to a community. 

They’ve got no right 

to throw us on the human scrap heap.”

After more than a year of intense struggle, the government caved in. The four threatened shipyards were saved, and the right to work upheld.

 

 

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