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30 years ago

Under the tantalising headline "Life in Grangemouth", The TESS reported on the adverse effects of shift work on pupils in industrial Scotland (April 18, 1975): If there is to be higher unemployment this summer, working mothers should be asked to give up their jobs so that their sons or daughters leaving school and looking for work can be assured of employment, said the Rev James Drysdale, of Fallin, Stirlingshire, to a conference... on the theme of growing up in Grangemouth.

"Mr Drysdale discussed the shift syndrome, ...Grangemouth having the highest proportion of shift workers in the United Kingdom. Mr Drysdale said the shift system dominated social life, sometimes resulting in considerable frustration and absenteeism. The family unit could be upset when the mother was also on shift. One boy had changed all the clocks in the house so that his parents would both be at home when he left for school.

Mr Drysdale emphasised the need for employers to help solve the problems created by shift work, also for playgroups where children could be when their fathers were sleeping. But... there were far more disturbing problems of delinquency and of over-dependence.

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