Stephen Wilkinson first visited Cuba in 1986 and has been traveling to and writing about the island ever since. Now the Chairman of the International Institute for the Study of Cuba based in the UK, Stephen has a PhD on the subject of Cuban literature. He has written numerous articles on such questions as the history of European and US - Cuba relations, Cuban attitudes and policy towards homosexuals and the nature of the Cuban state. He blogs at The Cuba Bug.
However, if the future of a sun-soaked land of socialism, international solidarity and health and educational advances doesn't float your boat, then another, less happy, sunny country is also attracting (less positive) coverage. The position of workers in Qatar employed in constructing the infrastructure needed to stage the forthcoming football World Cup has moved centre stage.
The Playfair Qatar campaign intends to build on that profile to explain why pressure on authorities there needs to be increased. While UNISON's conference will no doubt address the many problems faced by Trade Unions organising in Cameron's Britain, the medieval labour conditions, and flouting of basic health and safety standards in Qatar have led to many workers' deaths. The
Of course, in the UK workers can elect reps to ensure Health and Safety rules are followed, but even
|Robert addresses demo outside SECC|
Despite being 91% owned by Glasgow City Council, the SECC has never recognised UNISON for its own workforce. Surely a trait closer to management practices in Qatar than the UK. No doubt the sole Glasgow Councillor on the SECC Board - Cllr Graeme Hendry - will soon be putting forward the case for a more progressive treatment of his own union's representatives.