Protesting workers were delighted to hear first hand of Respect MP George Galloway’s support for their battle when he visited the picket line on Tuesday.
He told them how he had been raising the case at public meetings and had the day before mentioned at a 700-strong media industry event at the Edinburgh festival that he would be down at Gate Gourmet.
“This audience of largely TV executives and editors applauded,” he said, “That shows the extraordinary breadth of support you have.”
George was invited to speak to the pickets by senior stewards, who the visit had been arranged with.
“Your courageous stand has set an example for the entire trade union movement,” he said.
“You have the backing of your union and its general secretary, which has not always been the case with other unions and leaders.
“You have shown immense courage and determination, and you have a level of support from other working people I have rarely seen over the last 30 years. You can win.”
There was applause when he attacked New Labour for keeping the anti-union laws and allowing “vulture capitalists” like Gate Gourmet’s owners to “treat workers as chattels”.
Then came many informal discussions with groups of workers which ranged from practical solidarity, to tactics and why New Labour no longer represents working people.
“I’m very proud that Respect supporters have been here from the beginning,” said George. “We are raising money, bringing practical solidarity and boosting the workers’ confidence.
“We’ll be here until the end, as well. And we’ll be fighting the political battle against this anti-labour government.”