Private Sector Cuban Workers to Join Unions

HAVANA TIMES, Jan 6 — About 80 percent of all private sector workers on the island have joined the trade union movement, said Salvador Valdes Mesa, the general secretary of the Confederation of Cuban Workers, who spoke to the Granma newspaper today.

The inclusion of these individuals — which include both vendors, drivers and administrative workers, has been gradual. The sectors with the most unionized members are food services and commerce (with more than 100,000 unionized members) and transportation (with about 60,000 members).

According to sources with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, as of this past December more than 357,000 Cubans were engaged in self-employment, a figure that is expected to increase this year.