Conference on challenges facing labor held in Havana

By Martín Koppel
May 14, 2018
Conference on challenges facing labor held in Havana
Photos by Lourdes Ortega, History Institute of Cuba

HAVANA — Among the events here in the days surrounding the massive working-class mobilization on May Day was a conference addressing challenges facing workers and the unions in Cuba and the world. Plenary sessions and panels took up topics ranging from women and the labor movement, to the political lives of well-known working-class leaders in Cuba’s history.

“In defense of the U.S. working class,” a talk by Mary-Alice Waters, a leader of the Socialist Workers Party, was featured on the final day of the April 24-26 gathering. It was followed by a panel of five workers and farmers from the U.S. who explained the conditions of work in various industries and focused on the topic, “From Clinton to Trump: How working people in the U.S. are responding to the anti-labor offensive of the bosses, their parties, and their government.”

Teachers, researchers in labor history, and trade unionists from Cuba, the Americas and Europe participated in the conference, which was organized by the History Institute of Cuba (IHC) and the Central Organization of Cuban Workers (CTC), the country’s trade union federation. Pictured above, from left, are René González Barrios, president of the IHC (at podium); Cuban Deputy Minister of Communications Ana Julia Marine; CTC General Secretary Ulises Guilarte; and Consuelo Baeza, member of the CTC national secretariat. Fuller coverage will appear in a coming issue.