Born 1916, Massie was a farm labourer in his youth. He served in the tank corps in North Africa, Italy and Germany during the Second World War. An outstanding leader of steel workers in Scotland, he was victimised by the steel employers but was able to return to the industry and lead the fight against closure for the Clydebridge plant.
Long-time union convenor at Clydebridge steelworks, Massie was variously also Chair of Cambuslang Trades Council, Glasgow Tenants Association and President of the Scottish Tenants Organisation. He was the recipient of awards of merit from his union, the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation (now `Community’), and the Scottish TUC, chairing the latter’s Scottish Steel Industry Committee. Gordon Massie was a member of the ISTC’s national steel industry committee and the Communist Party’s National Steel Advisory Committee for many years and chaired the latter during the fight in the 1970s struggles against the closure of Lanarkshire steel-making.
He led an 18 month rent strike in Cambuslang in 1981-2 and helped win a rent freeze in 1984-5, as well as a very beneficial new tenants’ lease. As Chair of the Cambuslang and Rutherglen trades council, he led the fantastic campaign to raise £25,000 locally for the miners during the great strike of 1984-5. Massie was also the guiding light behind the formation of the Cambuslang Unemployed Workers Association.
A member of the Communist Party all his adult life, he was expelled by the revisionist leadership only a few weeks before his death in 1985 at the age of 69.
Sources: Morning Star 28th September 1985; 4th October 1985