Unions in Cuba: A Wrong Turn / IntraMuros

by Sironay González Rodríguez

I do not remember exactly when I didn’t join a union. Since I started working, until a few months ago when the Revolution decided that I wasn’t necessary for its “perfection” of the system, and they made me “available”–that is laid me off–I didn’t find that this organization represented my interests.

In past governments, the various labor unions existed, and were a thorn in the side of the companies, industries and even the leaders themselves, because they fearlessly claimed the rights of those they represented.

Today there are many unions–many!–but there are not many owners, only one, the State. And there are no workers’ struggled, members do not know their rights, the owner is the best and you can’t contradict him. The union leaders work together with the owners to prepare the May Day celebrations, giving another meaning to the holiday.

The behavior of the Cuban Workers Union (CTC) is so wrong, that in these days, when unemployment in Cuba reminds us of the times in which because of this the first silent federations arose, the union sectors are now back working with the principals, convincing the “availables” of the need for the country to get along without them.

The working class does not have a true representative in the CTC, the owner, the State, does. It’s another arm of the octopus with which they subjugate us.

This May Day they will again march all over the country. The workers will carry placards praising the master, while he, confident once again, will be thinking about how to blunt the sickle and make a heavier hammer.

Sironay González Rodríguez
b. San Cristobal, Artemis. 1976

April 28 2011