Alan left school in 1958 and joined Electrabuild in the Uxbridge Road and then British Light Steel Pressings in Acton.
He was not called up to serve in the army but instead worked for Samuel Putney’s in Paddington- a timber importer and specialist moulder.
He notes the lack of safety equipment in this period and the move to various companies- generally maintenance and shop- fitting, including piano tuning. He points out that there lots of jobs available in wood machining- you could ‘chase the money’. He describes work patterns pay and conditions in the industry.
He moved to the BBC but suffered from a disability in this period.
He comments on the Thatcherite period in the 1980s and its effects on industrial relations.
He later worked as a caretaker at the Linford Christie Stadium.
He desctibes many of the small companies in the Ladbroke Grove area in the 1950s eg Pilgrim Paynes and Fidelity Radio.
Alan joined a union when he went to work at Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre for Earl’s Court Stand Fitting and was involved in short disputes.
His unions included FTAT. He describes the system of summary sackings by employers.
He later had dealings with employers at industrial tribunals, including the BBC.
He strongly defends health and safety legislation in detail and attacks those who believe it is ‘red- tape’.
His father was a Labour Party member for over 50 years.
Alan was a member of the Socialist Alliance for a short time but his trade union involvement was key throughout his working life.