British workers maintained an anti-war attitude until August 4, 1914, when the government finally declared war on Germany. In late August, the Labour Party and the TUC declared an « industrial ceasefire » for the duration of the war and supported an all-party recruitment campaign. In May 1915, there were three Labour MPs in the coalition government, one of them, Arthur Henderson, in the cabinet. The two treasury agreements signed by government and trade union representatives confirmed Labour`s promise to abandon strikes during the war. It also led trade unions (including the Amalgamated Society, whose members were primarily concerned) to agree to suspend « restrictive practices » in the craft sector by accepting the use of unskilled or skilled labour (especially women) in war industries. (This is called « dilution. ») Voluntarily hostile to war or not, from 1915 it was clear that workers in the industry would not be intimidated by legal demands against strikes. The engineers` strike at the Clyde munitions factories in 1915 was an early example of this indignation. The strike was obviously not supported by the management of the ESA. Supported by the Central Labour Committee, the strike quickly spread across the Clyde. The signs of a massive presence were not limited to Scotland. The strikes were eventually defeated. However, in Clydeside, the Central Labour Committee was replaced by a permanent organisation – the Clyde Workers` Committee (CWC), whose chairman William Gallacher was a member of the British Socialist Party.
Amount authorized by the second issue (agreements of 4 November 1915, 17 February 1916 and 27 July 1916) For the years 1915-1918, the total number of days lost due to disputes in the United Kingdom was only 41 per cent of the total for 1912, the worst of the pre-war years. Industrial unrest worsened as a result of the war, with real wages falling in the face of inflation and long working hours contributing to war fatigue. 68 per cent of the lost days took place in 1917 and 1918. In Britain, as in other war-fighting countries, government controls have caused discontent among the government and not just employers.