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Leader of Glasgow City Council needs to show officials she is real boss

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THE rate of social progress for women occurs at a glacial pace in some sectors of modern, enlightened Scotland. In Glasgow a century after Mary Barbour and her army staged their rent strike another band of working class women are still fighting exploitation and inequality. Mrs Barbour and her women faced down city landlords who sought to exploit the absence of men fighting in the First World War.

These greedy property barons were seeking to cash in on an influx of Highlanders earning good money in munitions factories by racking up rents and forcing the war wives and widows out. Mrs Barbour’s army went toe-to-toe with bailiff’s officers trying to evict their neighbours and finally marched on the sheriff court to support tenants being prosecuted for non-payment of the rent increases.

David Lloyd George was forced to intervene as Munitions Minister and the Rent Restrictions Act was passed within a month, a piece of legislation that inspired similar movements across the world. If some of the unelected executives in Glasgow City currently pulling down six-figure salaries had had their way Mary Barbour and her women would probably still be fighting this battle.

On Tuesday and Wednesday 11,000 women staged a strike and marched for the equal wages and the payment of a decade of back money to which their entitlement is now enshrined in law. A few streets away stuntmen in black sports cars and motorcycles were filming the latest in the Fast and Furious movie franchise, Hobbs and Shaw. In Glasgow’s city chambers the response by officials both elected and........

© Herald Scotland