Oh, dear me, the warld's ill-divided,
Them that work the hardest are aye wi' least provided,
But I maun bide contented, dark days or fine,
There's nae much pleasure living affen ten and nine.
- The Jute Mill Song, as written and sung by Dundee jute worker, folk singer and activist, Mary Brooksbank (1897-1980).
Alex Falconer was elected as the MEP for Mid Scotland & Fife in 1984. He will step down in July 1999. This pamphlet draws upon his experiences as a worker, as a trade union representative, and as a Member of the European Parliament.
Alex left school without any formal qualifications. His first employment was as a lodge boy in the Blackness Foundry in Dundee. After being made redundant in 1958, he joined the Royal Navy, in which he served for nine years. After a short period as a labourer in the Ministry of Public Building and Works, and a year in the Health Service, as a Stoker in a hospital in Dunfermline, he joined Rosyth Dockyard as a lagger in 1969.
He became a shop steward in 1970, and served on many negotiating committees in the Civil Service. He joined the Labour Party in 1973, and was a Scottish Labour Party Conference delegate, on behalf of the Transport & General Workers' Union, from 1975 until he was elected as an MEP.
During his period of office he has served on several European Parliamentary committees - Economic Monetary and Industrial Policy; Environmental and Public Health and Safety; Legal Affairs and Citizens Rights; Regional Policy; and External Trade and Relations.
Many thanks to friends and colleagues who have proofread and suggested improvements to the text and philosophy of this pamphlet and others issued by my office. Thanks to Panayotis Roumeliotis MEP; Michael McGowan MEP; Alex Smith MEP; Stephen Hughes MEP; Pauline Green MEP, Chair of the Socialist Group;and various members of the Socialist Group who have provided help and encouragement.
Thanks also go to the workers in my Inverkeithing constituency office, Dave Smith, Stuart Ritchie, Vicky Stephenson and John Murray for their contributions to this and other pamphlets and publications, through their research, their contribution of additional text, artwork and desktop publishing, and not least for their constructive criticism and support.
Particular thanks to my wife Margaret, without whose support the trek from Dockyard worker to MEP would not have been possible.next section