Got a phone handy?

Good. It’s time to use it:

Protest Union Contempt for Workers’ Rights

Below is a notice just issued about a rally to be held in New York for Hugo Chavez and Ricardo Alarcon, the head of Cuba’s National Assembly.

It is an outrage that this rally will be planned on Sept. 8 at the headquarters of a union in New York (Local 1199/SEIU Building). I don’t know much about the situation of labor unions in Venezuela, but the cruel suppression of workers and free labor unions in Cuba is well known.

Please ask your contacts, including subscribers to listservs, to oppose this
act of contempt for free labor unions by phoning in protests to the office of Dennis Rivera, the leader of Local 1199. The phone number is: 212-582-1890.

Thank you,

Robert Kent
member of Local 1930
New York

Here’s the original press release (I hope you all havent had breakfast yet):

Dear Friends and Supporters of Cuba Solidarity New York (CSNY),

ATTEND SEPTEMBER 16 RALLY AT RIVERSIDE CHURCH, NYC
WITH HUGO CHAVEZ AND RICARDO ALARCON!

On Friday evening September 16-only 9 days from this emailing-those of
us in the New York-New Jersey region, joined by solidarity activists
from across the U.S. will have an opportunity to attend an extraordinary
and historic event. A broad coalition of organizations has announced
that on September 16 there will be mass rally in solidarity with Cuba
and Venezuela that will feature major addresses by Venezuelan President
Hugo Chavez and Cuban National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon. Both
revolutionary leaders are scheduled to attend special events at the
United Nations commemorating its 60th Anniversary. The September 16
solidarity event will be at the RIVERSIDE CHURCH IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK
at 120th Street and Riverside Drive where the Upper West Side and
Harlem meet in Manhattan….

The next meeting of the coalition organizing this event will be
Thursday, September 8 at 6:30 PM at the 1199/SEIU Building, 310 W. 43rd
St., between 8th and 9th Avenues, times Square subway stop.

In solidarity and struggle,
Ike Nahem
For CSNY

15 thoughts on “Got a phone handy?”

  1. val yo creo que todos los cubanos que vivimos aqui en el noroeste del pais deberiamos organizar una protesta en dicho lugar y en la fecha que se indica.
    Asi que le hago un llamado a todos los cubanos que viven en el area triestatal para denunciar a esos payasos.
    Muchas gracias por la informacion.

  2. BEFORE THE REVOLUTION

    1878 Law restricting child labor
    1909 Arteaga Law, requiring that wages be paid in legal tender, not in script
    1916 Worker’s Compensation Law
    1931 Establishment of an unemployment fund
    1933 Law requiring that 50% of every labor force be Cuban
    1933 Trade Union Law
    1934 Law of collective labor agreements
    1934 Law establising the right to paid vacations
    1934 Law protecting workers and employees against arbitrary discharge
    1934 Law affirming the right to join unions and to strike
    1934 Eight-hour day (later amended to a 35-hour week for which the worker was entitled to 40 hours compensation)
    1934 Health and maternity protection for workers
    1934 National Minimum Wage Commission
    1936 Social Security
    1936 Organization of an institute to retrain disabled workers
    1937 Mandatory Maternity Leave
    1941 Compulsory Arbitration Law
    1948 Law on Health Standards in places of employment
    1948 Mandatory Christmas bonus amounting to one month’s pay (the so-called “13th Month”)

    AFTER THE REVOLUTION (1959)

    1959 Abolition of the right to organize unions
    1959 Strikes outlawed
    1959 Minimum wage laws repealed
    1959 Collective bargaining abolished
    1959 Right to job security terminated
    1959 Paid vacations abolished
    1959 Compulsory work for state instituted
    1959 Payment of wages in script authorized

  3. BEFORE THE REVOLUTION

    1878 Law restricting child labor
    1909 Arteaga Law, requiring that wages be paid in legal tender, not in script
    1916 Worker’s Compensation Law
    1931 Establishment of an unemployment fund
    1933 Law requiring that 50% of every labor force be Cuban
    1933 Trade Union Law
    1934 Law of collective labor agreements
    1934 Law establising the right to paid vacations
    1934 Law protecting workers and employees against arbitrary discharge
    1934 Law affirming the right to join unions and to strike
    1934 Eight-hour day (later amended to a 35-hour week for which the worker was entitled to 40 hours compensation)
    1934 Health and maternity protection for workers
    1934 National Minimum Wage Commission
    1936 Social Security
    1936 Organization of an institute to retrain disabled workers
    1937 Mandatory Maternity Leave
    1941 Compulsory Arbitration Law
    1948 Law on Health Standards in places of employment
    1948 Mandatory Christmas bonus amounting to one month’s pay (the so-called “13th Month”)

    AFTER THE REVOLUTION (1959)

    1959 Abolition of the right to organize unions
    1959 Strikes outlawed
    1959 Minimum wage laws repealed
    1959 Collective bargaining abolished
    1959 Right to job security terminated
    1959 Paid vacations abolished
    1959 Compulsory work for state instituted
    1959 Payment of wages in script authorized

  4. M.A.T., thank you so much for that breakdown of labor laws. I just sent it to a pro-labor friend in S.F. who believes all the Cuban government’s lies about the Workers’ Paradise. Of course, my friend has never actually been to Cuba.

  5. Have you ever read this? American Interests in the Cuban Revolution?.

    Although a conservative, the United States’ 22nd and 24th President, Stephen Grover Cleveland was a guy who wrote his own speeches, and was incredibly smart compared to a certain dumpkopf in the Oval Office I won’t mention.

    The above speech was his last State of the Union.

    How come you don’t seem to care about Congo-Kinshasa? Their story is, by far, more tragic than the Cubans.

  6. Js Narins: I suppose that being consistent in your opposition to trade embargos whether in Cuba or Iraq, you also opposed no less vehemently the economic sanctions imposed on the apartheid government of South Africa.

    And by the way, the U.S. does not maintain a “blockade” on Cuba. Do you even know what a blockade is? Since Cuba is an island (you may not know that either) a blockade would involve encircling the island with ships to cut-off Cuba’s access to the outside world. This has never happened. Cuba is free to trade with whosoever it pleases. The United States, however, chooses not to trade with Cuba, which is its sovereign right.
    The United States never “invaded Cuba to bring about military dictatorship” — not four times, not even once. In fact, it was instrumental in removing two dictators, Machado and Batista, when it withdrew its recognition or threatened to.

    As for Grover Cleveland, who, for some inexplicable reason, you seem to admire above all U.S. presidents, he was always a friend of Spain and an inveterate enemy of Cuban independence. His administration, which scrupulously enforced its official “Neutrality” in favor of Spain, arresting Cuban freedom fighters while supplying arms and munitions to the Spanish crown, is hardly the appropriate individual to cite in support of Cuban sovereignty.

    The suffering of the Cuban people over the last 46 years does not need to be compared to the suffering of any other people. Nothing is more vulgar or degrading than playing a game of upmanship when it comes to human suffering.

    You really must grow up.

  7. What sort of relations did the US have with South Africa?

    Were we not aiding their proxy war, through Namibia, against the government of Angola, in a weird alliance with Congolege Royalists?

    Were we not aiding Saddam Hussein in his proxy war, using the Mujahedin Khalq, against Iran? Over 200 members of the US Congress supported the same terrorists Saddam supported as late as 2000.

    I am not a professional military historian, nor am I, any longer, in the military, and I apologize for using the word “blockade.” Let’s not jump to conclusions about what I know, or don’t, at least _quite_ as hastily, in the future. Thanks in advance.

    I don’t admire SG Cleveland above all other Presidents, but if you read that speech, you would have seen that his reasoning was sound. America is not a Republic if we run around invading and taking land. Cleveland expressly referred to the RIGHTS of Americans (and Cubans in America) to buy arms and ship them to the freedom fighters in Cuba.

    I do believe that suffering can be compared.

    If some fashion models can’t get a seat at Moomba’s, and 30,000,000 people were killed in Congo-Kinshasa in the last 30 years, I would expect one could, without even worrying about it, discuss how one suffering can be compared to the other. Nothing is more vulgar or degrading that to say they can not!

    I am no expert on US-Spanish relations under Cleveland, but the Encarta encyclopedia says “Consistent with his strong stand against British interference, Cleveland himself refused to meddle in the Cuban War of Independence (1895-1898) against Spain, despite strong pressure from American imperialists. Revolts and conspiracies against the Spanish regime had dominated Cuban political life throughout the 19th century. The Cuban struggle for independence had become an active revolution in 1895 because Spain failed to institute reforms promised to the Cuban people in 1878. In response the Spanish drove much of the population into confinement camps, in which thousands died of disease and malnutrition. Many Americans strongly sympathized with the Cuban cause, but Cleveland was determined not to involve his country in a war. He made Spain an offer, in April 1896, to act as mediator in the dispute. Spain declined, and the revolution continued.”

    In fact, Cleveland refused to ratify the annexation of Hawaii. Why? It was ours. We had taken it. We had fomented a bloody coup against the Queen of the Hawaiians.

    And that was why he wouldn’t take it.

    You don’t seem to care how we get to the ends you desire.

    But you must stop lying in my face, because you are really bad at it.

  8. The first three paragraphs were meant to describe how there is a great difference between selling food to a country (Reagan greatly increased wheat sales to the Soviet Union) and helping them fight wars that they have no business getting involved in in the first place.

    By the way, a lot of the contractors America has in Iraq now are former mercenaries from the anti-black wars that the South Africans ran against southern African black rule countries.

    Not to mention their role in killing their own countrymen.

    What a wonderful world.

  9. M.A.T.Your intelligence and knowledge of History and world events is impressive!!
    Good facts are ALWAYS more powerful than useful play of words in any argument; it shows in the responses to your comments from the “pinko” with acute verbal diarrhea who probably wears a che t-shirt, drinks French wine, watches CNN and listens to Radio America…they are soooooooo progressive aren’t they???
    I say waste no time on that one, not worth it….

  10. Js Narins: You must make it your life’s mission–if it isn’t already–to inform the world of these 30 millions killed in Congo-Kinshasa. But I strongly suggest that you don’t say that this genocide was “six times worse” than the Holocaust because people then will make certain conclusions about you, such as that you are trying to belittle the suffering of the Jewish people. Yes, such comparisons are always vulgar and degrading, and almost always motivated by some hidden agenda. What is yours?

    As for President Cleveland, he allowed Americans and Cubans to buy arms for the rebels–under the Constitution he couldn’t stop them–but he forbade their shipment to Cuba, and ordered the seizure of dozens of vessels laden with arms before they could leave American ports. At the same time, he allowed American arms manufacturers to fill all orders from the Spanish government. And, of course, he never recognized the belligerancy rights of Cubans.

    I do commend you for knowing who Grover Cleveland was. That’s something that generally only drug traffickers know, since his face appears on the old $1000 bill. Of course, I am sure that you are not a drug trafficker, just someone with very peculiar notions of Cuban and American history.

    By the way, who were these 4 pre-revolutionary dictators whom the U.S. imposed on the Cuban people? That should keep you up all night. Glad that I can give you something to do.

  11. Carmen: Thank-you for your kind words. It is sometimes necessary, however, to sharpen one’s mind against a dull surface.

  12. Narins what is your fucking point man?
    You talk so much trash that my head feels like a fucking yoyo.
    You are completely off line with your stupid arguments.
    I?m glad matt knows a lot about Cuban history and send you back to silence.

  13. I LOVE you guys!!
    Tocorrito !Te la comistes!! I am still laughing my head off!! you sure know how to send them pa’l carajo sin muchas flores ni fragancias!!
    GRACIAS AMIGO!!

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