Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Workers of the world

The Castro regime has reacted with predictable outrage at news that the newly-formed International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) will not accept the official Cuban trade union body as a member.

The new labour confederation, which represents workers in more than 150 countries, believes that Cuban workers lack basic industrial freedoms. You know, like the freedom to form their own unions, the freedom to elect union leaders and the freedom to withdraw their labour.

The ITUC is right, of course.

Cuban trade unions ceased to be independent nearly 50 years ago when they were taken over by Fidel Castro and transformed into yet another arm of the ruling Communist Party.

Which explains why there has never been an officially sanctioned strike in Cuba during all that time. Not one.

Anyway, it’s good to see a body such as the ITUC taking a stand. At least for now.

And the response from Havana to the decision? The official newspaper of the Cuban trade union body, Trabajadores, describes the new international confederation as “exclusive” and the “tool of neoliberalism”.

As you would expect.


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