LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn has paid tribute to late Scottish “socialist fighter” Jimmy Reid as it was announced he will give the annual lecture in his memory.
Govan-born Union leader Mr Reid attracted international recognition and support when he led the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders’ (UCS) ‘’work-in’’ of thousands of shipbuilders on the Clyde in the early 70s, forcing the government to rethink closing the yards.
Left wing think tank The Jimmy Reid Foundation has held an annual memorial lecture since Mr Reid’s death in 2010 and speakers have included Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon and Len McCluskey.
Mr Corbyn will give this year’s address on the topic of industrial strategy and credited Mr Reid for saving Scotland’s ship building industry.
He said: “Jimmy Reid was one of the most outstanding trade unionists and socialist fighters that Scotland has ever produced. He led the UCS work-in whose legacy is that we still have shipbuilding on the Clyde today.
“His message of the necessity of human dignity at work reverberates down the years and is a theme that I campaigned on last year - and am campaigning on again this year - in order to make sure that Labour represents the interest of workers.”
Foundation convener Bob Thomson said: “The subject matter of Jeremy’s lecture is very timely and welcome, for the foundation has produced a number of policy papers on industrial strategy and related matters.
“Good, secure jobs require a productive economy. Moreover, the BHS scandal and other corporate excesses and recent disputes in the rail and offshore oil industries have highlighted the need for radical reforms.
“Jeremy is committed to investing in research and development, better training, ending zero-hour contracts, providing safe working conditions, ensuring fair equal pay and giving workers a say in how their organisation is run. He is not a recent convert to these ideals but has a long track record of support.”
When the lecture takes place in Govan Old Parish Church on October 6, the fraught battle between Owen Smith and Mr Corbyn for leadership of the Labour Party will have been decided.