Michael Pollek

Born: 24th February 1954

Reading, UK

Date of interview: 13th July 2006

Map showing where Michael Pollek came from

You said you didn't have a proper job before?

Well it was a proper job in as much as it was a job that paid me a proper wage, I didn't consider it a proper job because I would stay as long as I wanted to and if I didn't want to I'd leave. Like I said in those days it was easy to find a job, there were jobs everywhere. Now, I needed a job I could commit myself to and therefore to look to develop a career, because I had a family to raise and bring up.

So I got a job at Courage's and that was thirty two years ago. I worked for Courage for thirty years from the old brewery, and I'm sure you'll be talking to people who worked there, there are some other Ukrainians that I'm gonna try to persuade to talk to you who worked down at the old brewery, 'cos again it employed quite a lot of foreigners, and then at the new brewery here.

As a result of working at that brewery I got involved with the trade union movement. And then went through the, I was elected as a shop steward as a branch secretary, I was elected to sit on the constitutional bodies of the trade union, and really got about as far as I could go within the union movement and I, as a lay person, decided that I ought to put something back, both into the trade union movement that gave me the opportunity to do the things that I did and also to assist people that were not in the position to help themselves. So I applied for a job as a trade union official and that's what I do at the moment.