Havana, Cuba (acn) – The Cuban Workers´ Confederation (CTC), the union gathering over 3 million Cubans, was excluded from the Civil Society Forum called by the Summit of the Americas in Panama next week.
In statements to Cuba´s Trabajadores newspaper, Gisela Duarte, member of the Confederation´s National Secretariat said that their delegation is made up of eight representatives from the unions of health, construction and non-state labor initiatives, who represent all Cuban workers in 17 local unions and more than 400 thousand private workers.
“We would have liked attending the Civil Society Forum, since we wanted to show examples of true democracy…so we send our applications on time, but they did not approve any of us,” said the executive.
“However, we will participate, along other unions and social movements from around the region at the Summit of the Peoples, in which we will address the US economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba, a major point to be tackled by the Cuban delegation. And the main point here is that such a form of aggression disappears, since it is illegitimate and hinders the development of society, the workers and all Cubans,” she noted.
Other issues on the CTC delegation´s agenda include the non-state labor initiative and the integration of the union movement and workers in the decision-taking process, Duarte noted.
The executive said that the right to strike has always been an issue used to question Cuba. But it is not included in the Cuban Constitution adopted in by 97 percent of the people. Cuban workers have the right to express their views and their decisions in many spaces where everything in the interest of the workers is addressed, said the executive and put as example the recent collective negotiations throughout the island on the new labor code.
The new legislation establishing the code reserves over 45 moments stipulating links, consultations with the unions, she noted and added that his evidences that Cuban workers do have spaces for debates aimed at finding solutions to any conflicts.