TRIBUTES have been paid to the trade union leader Sir Gavin Laird, who has died at the age of 84.

Sir Gavin, who grew up in Clydebank, joined the Amalgamated Engineering Union while working at the Singer factory in the town.

He went on to become shop steward before taking on the role of convener by the age of 30.

Sir Gavin became a full-time union official in 1972 and was appointed as general secretary of the union, which had 1.2 million members at one point.

The National Joint Council for the Engineering Construction Industry said he had died peacefully at home with his wife and daughter after a long illness.

A spokesman described him as an "outstanding leader and progressive voice in the trade union and labour movement for most of his life".