May Day in Cuba ʺWe Are Privilegedʺ

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Thursday May 11 2017

These are the words a participant used to describe the participation of our Union delegation in the May 1st celebration in Havana. In Cuba, International Workers’ Day takes on a unique aspect. This is a day for Cubans to proclaim loud and clear their determination to defend their sovereignty, to demand the lifting of the economic blockade and to create a just, prosperous and sustainable society.



The march opened with 50,000 youth firmly holding a huge banner bearing this year’s theme, ʺUnity is our strength". They were followed by close to a million workers who marched in tight formation for more than an hour before the stand on Revolution Square.

Workers from all sectors were present. They proudly carried their union banner and repeated the parade’s slogans. Our brothers and sisters from the postal sector were there, massed behind a giant mail box.



Everywhere throughout the crowd workers carried signs with a photo of Fidel and the words ˝I am Fidel˝, clearly stating that they would continue the struggle initiated by Fidel Castro with the victory of the Revolution in 1959.



This year, CUPW’s delegation included 11 people from all regions of the country. We stayed in Cuba from April 29 to May 6. Our program, planned with SNTCIE, the union that represents the 13,000 postal workers, enabled us to better understand the history of the Cuban revolution as well as the challenges it is currently facing.

At the beginning of our stay, we visited the Museum of the Revolution, and participated in the May Day march and the International Solidarity Conference. We then discussed the collective agreement governing relations between SNTCIE and postal service management. We visited the postal Museum and a postal depot, where we shared our work experiences with mail carriers. We also had lunch with some postal retirees.

Later on, we provided an update on our common union project financed through Appendix ʺR" of the urban collective agreement. We then travelled across the country from North to South to go to the Bay of Pigs in order to visit the museum that tells the story of the 1961 American invasion attempt. AND MUCH MORE!



Solidarity is something that must be lived day by day through concrete and meaningful action. This is exactly what we experiences in Cuba: SOLIDARITY IN ACTION.


Denis Lemelin, National Union Representative

For the CUPW delegation to Cuba