Statement from Gary Smith, GMB Scotland Secretary
We are waking up this morning to the awful news that GMB President Mary Turner has passed away. The thoughts of everyone in GMB Scotland at this sad time are with her family and loved ones.
Mary was a towering presence in the life of GMB and it's hard to imagine our union without her. She was a great leader, a fearsome fighter, a wonderful friend and an irresistible force for good in our country. So many people's lives have been changed for the better because of Mary.
She also devoted her life to the wider Labour movement and achieved incredible things, rubbing shoulders with the great and the good, senior politicians, prime ministers and presidents, but in all she did Mary never forgot her roots as a GMB activist working in school dinners for a London council. Our members were always Mary's guiding light. She loved them. And, we loved her too.
On a personal note I worked with Mary for a number of years and she gave me huge encouragement. I will always remember and cherish her insightful words of wisdom and many acts of kindness. She was an inspiration to me. I will miss her terribly.
Mary was a proud, warm, intelligent and determined working class woman. Her passing is the end of an era but her legacy, values and spirit live on.
Rest in peace Mary.