Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Labor Tour November 16-22

Invitation to Join a Labor Tour of Cuba: November 16th - November 22nd (8/15/14)

We are putting together a seven-day, six night tour of Cuba for senior staff and local leaders at various U.S. labor unions.  The tour will concentrate on the current economic reforms and their impact on Cuban workers.  It will also explore how Cuban trade unions are trying to deal with these massive changes.  Finally, we will get a real education on how the U.S. blockade impacts Cuba and how it also impacts the United States.

We would like to invite you to join this exciting trip tentatively scheduled for November 16th through November 22nd.  A maximum of fifteen (and a minimum of 10) people will join the tour that is sponsored and organized by Disarm Education Fund, a nonprofit organization that has a U.S. government license to conduct people-to-people tours of Cuba.  The tour will be lead by Bob Schwartz, Director of Disarm Education Fund and Michael Locker, President of Locker Associates. 

Undoubtedly you will learn a lot from this experience, and you could possibly use this knowledge in your work moving forward.  The Revolution is now 55 years old and, as you probably know, Cuba is currently undergoing major economic and social changes, experimenting with new ways to improve their weak economy and incorporating private ownership in their restructuring efforts.  As you might expect, Cuban workers from every occupation are undergoing difficult changes as these government reforms are being instituted. 

Moreover, Cuba is still confronted with a total U.S. economic blockade, cutting the country off from all forms of U.S. commerce and investment.  In our opinion this illegal and unjust blockade should be immediately lifted, first because of the massive damage to the Cuban people and their economy and second because it actually hurts the U.S. economy.  By blockading Cuba, the U.S. government has eliminated significant exports from the United States, thereby weakening the U.S. economy and employment opportunities.

More specifically, the purpose of the trip is to explore:
·     The rapidly changing Cuban reality.
·     The role of Cuban unions and workers in restructuring their economy.
·     The role of Cuban cooperatives in restructuring their economy.
·     The impact of the U.S. embargo on Cuba and the United States.
·     How the end of the U.S. embargo would affect the U.S. economy and U.S. workers.
·     How to involve U.S. unions and labor leaders in ending the Cuban embargo.

Tentative activities during the trip include:
·     Meet with national and local union leaders of the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba (CTC).
·     Open discussion with the Cuban Communist Party on key political questions.
·     Visit two traditional work centers, including a one day trip to Cienfuegos.
·     Visit two new co-operative work centers.
·     Visit the new port of Mariel.
·     Visit a school or daycare center.
·     Visit a health clinic.
·     Presentation & discussion on the Cuban economy with a Cuban economist.
·     Presentation & discussion on the US embargo and its impact on Cuba with an expert.
·     Meet with the Catholic Church.
·     Tour Old Havana where major restoration has occurred.  
·     Meet with professors and administrators at the University of Havana.
·     Experience diverse cultural activities including music, dance, theater, etc.

This trip will cost about $3,000.  This will include roundtrip airfare from Miami to Havana, transportation services inside Cuba, accommodations at a first-class hotel, breakfast every morning, two lunches and two dinners at excellent restaurants, translation and a guide.  Transportation to and from Miami is not included and must be arranged for and paid by you.

See the attached Fact Sheet for further details on the tour.

If you are interested in applying for this tour fill out the attached questionnaire and return it no later than July 31, 2014 to:

Michael Locker
Locker Associates
225 Broadway, Suite 2625
New York, NY 10007

If you have any questions please call or email Michael Locker at 212-962-2980 or lockerassociates@yahoo.com.

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