UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Trade Unions for Cuba

The Cuba Solidarity Campaign recently launched its new trade union newsletter Trade Unions for Cuba. UNISON affiliates and individual CSC members will be accustomed to receiving their quarterly copy of CubaSí magazine, but the new bulletin will concentrate on trade union news and campaigning actions. Trade Unions for Cuba will be published electronically approximately every three months and will satisfy the hunger for topical Cuba news between issues of CubaSí.

The newsletter aims to celebrate collaboration between CSC, British trade unions and trade unions in Cuba. It will bring up-to-date news on trade unionism in Cuba, report on CSC work with unions domestically, mobilise campaigns and promote events, brigades and bespoke tours.

The first issue includes a report on WikiLeaks revelations which show the success of the CSC and trade union campaign against the Hilton Hotels in 2007. UNISON played a crucial role in boycotting Hilton due to their refusal to accommodate Cuban guests and the WikiLeaks cables show that our campaign reached the highest levels of the U.S government.

It also includes story of three young UNISON members – Vikki Garratty, Lisa Scott and Geri Cowell – who took part in CSC’s May Day Brigade this year. According to Vikki, the Brigade was “one of the best experiences of my life” and the newsletter applauds the work the three activists have done supporting solidarity with Cuba and fundraising for CSC since their return. A big thanks to all those who contributed at UNISON’s Young Members’ Weekend in Cardiff!

The core objective of the newsletter, however, is to enhance understanding of Cuba, promote campaigning work and increase union affiliations to the Cuba Solidarity Campaign. The report on the Miami 5 meeting in Los Angeles demonstrates that the British trade union movement has been crucial in the campaign to free the Miami 5 by ensuring the support of American unions such as the United Service Workers, the United Steel Workers and the Teamsters.

It is only through union support that this was possible and it is therefore imperative to build on the already fantastic relationship which CSC enjoys with UNISON and the trade union movement. If your branch isn’t already affiliated to the Campaign, we hope you will consider joining online (http://www.cuba-solidarity.org.uk/affiliate-join.asp ) or by emailing Dan Smith on the address below. Affiliation costs just £40 for a branch and £50 for a region.

Dan Smith

A hi-res version of the newsletter can be viewed here (http://www.cuba-solidarity.org.uk/BritishUnionsForCubaIssue1v2.pdf ). Please feel free to forward to colleagues or print-off and distribute around notice boards and offices. If you would like to receive future copies, please email CSC Campaigns Officer Dan Smith (campaigns@cuba-solidarity.org.uk).