30th anniversary of Pastors for Peace Cuba Caravan celebrated in Bay Area

first_imgFriends of revolutionary Cuba gathered at the Berkeley Fellowship Hall in the Bay Area on June 18 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Pastors for Peace Cuba Caravan, which has consistently broken the U.S.-imposed blockade on that country. The evening was sponsored by a coalition of groups, including Task Force on the Americas and the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity. Along with the Venceremos Brigade, which just celebrated its 50th anniversary, the Caravan provides humanitarian aid and support to the Cuban government.Bill Hackwell of the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity; Dave Welsh, Workers World Party, labor activist and singer/songwriter; Alicia Jrapko, International Committee U.S. Coordinator; Jane Franklin, author of ‘The Cuban Revolution and the United States: a Chronological History’; and Catherine Murphy, filmmaker and activist.The event featured two special guest speakers. Catherine Murphy, a San Francisco-based filmmaker who produced the well-known film “Maestra” about the 1961 Cuban literacy campaign, represented Pastors for Peace. A Cuban educator, who was the youngest participant in the literacy brigade, also spoke. The educator has worked for nearly 60 years since the brigade, as an activist and then as a teacher, supporting the revolutionary process in Cuba.The Cuban educator recalled the campaign with great fondness. “I was the youngest child in the campaign, and it was all made possible because of the work of the entire Cuban people,” she noted. “Everyone had a role to play and this was the foundation of our entire education system.” Both featured guests emphasized that education at every level, as well as health care, are completely free in Cuba.There was much discussion about the U.S.-enforced blockade of Cuba and how harmful it has been to the Cuban people. Recent actions by the current U.S. administration will make it harder for people to travel to Cuba and almost impossible for people to visit the U.S. from Cuba. With the signing of recent activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, counterrevolutionary Cubans and U.S. businesses can now lay claim to property that they “owned” (or stole) prior to the revolution.Allies of Cuba were urged by Murphy and other speakers to visit Cuba soon and show their support. The evening’s special Cuban guest was optimistic about her country’s continued support of other struggles and peoples around the world. “With what little we have, we have always shown others our solidarity,” she said. From Haiti to Venezuela, from Angola to Palestine, the people of the world have reached out and embraced this revolutionary solidarity.Editorial note: Recent threats against Cuba by the Trump regime made it necessary to withhold the name of the Cuban educator who spoke at this West Coast fundraiser.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Alternative to tribunals set for end of the year

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. The Government has pledged to implement the long-awaited alternative to employment tribunals by the end of the year in a bid to cut soaring numbers of unfair dismissal actions.The DTI is working with Acas on the new voluntary arbitration scheme – which will be welcomed by HR managers as a way of cutting legal costs and resolving simple dismissal cases.David Yeandle, deputy director of employment policy at the Engineering Employers’ Federation, urged the Government to intervene soon to try to buck the trend. Last week (5 September) Personnel Today highlighted the 23 per cent increase of unfair dismissal cases.Yeandle said, “The introduction of the voluntary arbitration scheme has been put off again and again in the past two years and I am wondering if it will ever happen.” A DTI spokeswoman said, “We are working towards implementing the Acas voluntary arbitration scheme by the end of the year and we are committed to having it introduced.” The scheme was proposed by the Government in 1998 and was planned to be introduced in spring 1999. Under the new system, which would apply only to simple unfair dismissal cases, both sides would agree to enter into voluntary arbitration. Then an Acas arbitrator would listen to the complaints from both sides and decide how much compensation should be awarded, if any.At the moment, once arbitration fails there is little alternative to the tribunal route. The proposed scheme is designed to be quicker, cheaper and less legalistic. If successful, there are plans to introduce it to replace other kinds of employment tribunal. Vauxhall Motors’ director of personnel and member of the Acas council Bruce Warman said, “The scheme will be of great benefit to HR because it will cut the amount of legal costs and lead to a quick resolution of simple unfair dismissal cases.Senior policy adviser at the CBI Jadine Riley said, “To enter the arbitration scheme, employees must waive their right to appeal. But this clashes with the Human Rights Act and this has caused a delay.”By Richard Staines Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Alternative to tribunals set for end of the yearOn 12 Sep 2000 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more