Tributes paid to Falkirk’s sadly missed union ‘giant’ Alex
He was small of stature but to his family, friends and union comrades Alex McLuckie was a larger than life loved one and a well respected giant of the trade union movement.
The Carronshore man, who was laid to rest today, sadly died on Tuesday, March 2 at the age of 69.
In a remarkable life, Alex served the GMB and the movement from the shop floor, then as a full-time official and finally a retired activist for over half a century.
That would be an achievement in itself, but the fact the former Carronshore Primary and Larbert High School pupil was also to devote time and give his love to his ever-growing family – wife Annie, sons Alan and Brian, daughters Rebecca, Donna and Mandy, granddaughter Jessica and great grandsons Mickey and Riley.
A time served wood machinist to trade, Alex joined an antecedent union of GMB – the Furniture, Timber and Allied Trades Union (FTAT) – when he began his working life at Alexander’s in Camelon, Falkirk.
A member of the Grangemouth 583 Branch, he was a shop steward, vice-convenor, convenor, branch treasurer and Eastern District Committee chairman of FTAT, before becoming a full-time organiser through the amalgamation with GMB, working first out of the Falkirk Office before taking up the role of senior organiser at Fountain House in Glasgow.
Alex was a champion for working people and their families, notably winning equal pay for machinists in the trimming shop at Alexanders.
He was involved in campaigning throughout his trade union life and would later launch first wave equal pay claims for members across all Scottish local authorities.
Alex was proud to lead GMB Scotland’s organising and recruitment team and played a pivotal part in the union’s scholarship programme, acting as a leader and mentor to many of the union’s top organisers today.
His trade union legacy is distinguished and indisputable.
The fact that so many of his colleagues became friends were a testament to his qualities as a decent human being.
People who worked with him down the years remember a selfless person, a tough but fair negotiator, and someone who was simply respected and admired by colleagues and opponents alike.
As a good friend remarked upon Alex’s passing: “Just a wee guy, but a giant in the trade union movement.”