USW Women of Steel Conference – Cuba Solidarity Campaign

Natasha Hickman from the Cuba Solidarity Campaign ran a Unite stall on the Miami Five (known as the Cuban Five in the US) as part of the USW exhibition during the conference.  This was the first time the issue had been raised at a USW conference in the US.

The vast majority of the delegates had not heard about the case before, with the exception of those who had been on Unite education exchanges or delegates to Unite conferences in Britain.

Information packs and DVDs were distributed to the 800 delegates, together with face to face discussions with many members, some of whom said they would raise the issue in their locals and take the information back to distribute.

The case of the Five is almost unheard of in the US, even within the union movement. Family members are either not given visas by the US government to travel, or the US government prohibits them from speaking at events, so they are unable to raise awareness at US conferences unlike in the UK and Canada.

Both by having a stall present at the exhibition and by raising the issue from the platform in the final plenary (the first time the Five had been mentioned on a major US union platform), Unite was able to help break the silence surrounding the case and inform more US trade union activists about the campaign for justice.

WOS Conf Cuban Five display

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