Trade Unionist

Alessandro was born in Senglea, the son of Alfred and Rosario née Borg. He received his education at the Dockyard school. He joined the Dockyard in 1918 as shipfitter apprentice, eventually becoming local supervisor in 1955. In 1959 he became foreman of fitters, C.E. Division, on the Dockyard’s transfer to Messrs Bailey.

In the early twenties, Alessandro enrolled in the Workers’ Benefit Society of Cospicua and the Società Operaia Cattolica of Senglea. He was already very active in politics in Senglea and in the Labour Party as a person who came from the Works Department Mutual Society. In 1931 he represented the Società Operaia Cattolica on the Malta Trade Union Council.

In 1937 he was elected President of the Apprentices and ex-Apprentices Association, Dockyard and, a year later, President of the Għaqda Maltija. Alessandro reached the top positions in trade unionism as General Secretary (1941) and President (1943) of the Malta Trade Union Council.

In 1945 Alessandro was elected President of the Workers’ Benefit Society and was chosen as delegate of the Trade Union Council in the National Assembly (1945-47)  

Alessandro also involved himself in politics. In 1927 he was an active member of the general committee of the Labour Party, Secretary of the Senglea committee, and, three years later, Vice-President of the same hometown committee.

He was an intelligent worker, a good speaker, and well-versed in chairmanship. In 1938 he was elected Secretary General of the Labour Party under the leadership of Dr Paul Boffa* when the party regained popularity and was given a fair share in representation in the then Council of Government. In 1944, he was member of the Executive of the LP.

In October 1949, Alessandro supported Dr Boffa’s stand after the party’s internal split. Indeed, he was considered as a veteran member of the MLP who militated within the party between the older and newer generations.

Alessandro was involved in social and sporting activities besides trade unionism and politics. He served as General Secretary of the St Joseph Band Club, Ħamrun (1947-49). He also served on the MFA Counil, president of the Senglea Sports Club, and of the Sliema-Birkirkara-Kottonera Bus Owners’ Union.   

He was married to Aida Ronsisvalle on 4 May 1930, and had four children: Alfred, Saviour, Joseph, Agnes.

This biography is part of the collection created by Michael Schiavone over a 30-year period. Read more about Schiavone and his initiative here.

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