|Founder(s)||Osvaldo de Melo and Sara del Carmen Zaldívar|
|Political alignment||Communism, Marxism-Leninism|
Trabajadores (originally called Los Trabajadores, translated in English as '[the] workers') is a Cuban newspaper founded in June 1970 by Osvaldo de Melo and Sara del Carmen Zaldívar which is the organ of the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba (CTC). It is published in Spanish, with an on-line English edition. It was created to inform and guide workers and people in general about union life and other issues of universal interest.
The worker press in Cuba
Sunday October 22, 1865, with the release of weekly journal La Aurora in Havana was inaugurated the Cuban worker press, almost one hundred years before of the appearance of first newspapers in Cuba. This late appearance of a worker journal it is explained by the slow development that has the consolidation of worker class in Cuba, where prevailed the slavery end 1880.
The newspaper had eight pages of letter size, press in two columns. It was directed by Saturnino Martínez, an Asturian tobacconist fanatic of poetry, and the Cuban litterateur Manuel Sellén. Frequently it inserted articles that disturbed to Spanish colonial authorities and most reactionary employers, because they denounced the subhuman conditions in some jobs, the low payments, the insalubrity and congestion on works.
Ended the Ten Years' War –first stage of the independence struggle that extended across 1868 to 1878- arrived an awake of Cuban worker movement, with new organization ways as union trades, cooperative and mutual help societies, besides the manifestation of first ideas about class struggle. At the same time started to appear newspapers like Boletín Tipográfico, in Havana; El Artesano, also in the capital city, and El Obrero.
The great relevance by then it has the weekly journal El Productor, founded on July 12 of 1887 and considered as the first that advocate the class struggle in Cuba, it first director was the worker leader Enrique Roig San Martín. In it pages divulged some ideas of Marx and Engels, and fight countless battles for the improvement of worker life’s conditions and their right to strike. It was de only publication in Cuba that unmasks the judicial farce in USA that has as end the murder of Chicago martyrs, incident that originated the traditional celebration of May Day.
In republican Cuba
However the impossibility of worker journals to race with the self-called “great press” or “serious press” (which belonged to American partnerships, bourgeois and Cuban politicians) in the first two decades of past century anarchistic groups edited Tierra y Bandera Social, the Liga of Trabajadores Cubanos (Cuban Workers League) had in Alerta, their official newspaper; La Voz Obrera became in spokesman of the Partido Socialista de Cuba (Socialist Cuban Party), y Lucha de Clases, in 1924, with biweekly edition and directed by Carlos Baliño, was the first Cuban Marxism-Leninism newspaper. Years later there was Juventud Obrera (1929), that reach five years of life, so others like El Trabajador y Bandera Roja, both belonging to Communist Party.
Between 1933 –after the fallen of Gerardo Machado tyranny- and 1958, fallen of Fulgencio Batista dictatorship, could be quoted some data: February 22 of 1938, in a meeting presided by Lázaro Peña, it was constituted in Havana the Asociación de la Prensa Obrera de Cuba (Cuban Worker Press Association) which existed until 1948. Seven years afer it was created it clustered more than 30 publications, with a monthly impression above 150 thousand copies. In November’s 1939 appeared the first number of the Revista CTC as organ of the Confederación de Trabajadores de Cuba (Cuban Worker Confederation), which constituent congress happened in January 28 of this year. It has a weekly periodicity and uninterruptedly it was keep until 1947, when it was produced the forced division of worker movement. Its director was Lázaro Peña, general secretary of trade union section; and its editor in chief, Carlos Fernández R.
Sometimes from legality, and many other in pursuit and secrecy conditions, the newspaper Noticias de Hoy, founded by the Partido Socialista Popular (Popular Socialist Party), knew represent and defend the interests of workers, like happened under Fulgencio Batista tyranny, since March 1952 until December 1958. Noticias de Hoy was target of governmental closures, assaults and evictions made by gunmen under government protection. An important place occupied Vanguardia Obrera, secrecy journal of the Movimiento Revolucionario 26 de Julio (Revolutionary Movement July 26) where was denounced the unfair life and work conditions of proletariat during the bloody government of Batista. With the triumph of Cuban Revolution, in January 1959, this worker publication became organ of the CTC Revolucionaria (Revolutionary CTC).
In May 1960 circulated the Revista Trabajo, directed by Carlos Fernández R. and edited by Work Ministry, with the finality of exposed the Revolutionary Government projections in the working field. Early in 1962 stopped as trade union organ and handed over to Vanguardia Obrera again, in its third and last stage, since 1964 to 1966, with a biweekly frequency.
Creation of the newspaper Trabajadores
The need to provide the CTC of a national media outlet own gave life to newspaper Los Trabajadores, at a time that was raised as a priority the reconstruction and strengthening of trade unions, which practically had undergone a process of weakening of structures and organizations base.
In early June 1970, Osvaldo de Melo and Sara del Carmen Zaldivar had a modest tabloid project, conceived by the second, to the then general secretary of CTC, Hector Ramos Latour. Since then, Los Trabajadores –its initially name- would supply the void caused by the disappearance of Vanguardia Obrera and the Revista CTC, CTC and trade unions publications that for many years reported and guided to on key issues of union events. The first number, printed on the first half of June, was followed by another in the second half of July and one in November, also in the second half.
Los Trabajadores was making his way amid many difficulties: lack of material resources, premises for writing, printing workshops and editing staff. But that did not stop a small group of peers, with the support of the Unión de periodistas de Cuba (Cuban Journalist Union), especially its then national organizer, Lázara Rodríguez Alemán, and worker correspondents volunteer movement arose, gave life to the first numbers, which came out in the small print of the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba located in Virtues and Manrique, municipality of Centro Habana.
In doing redoubled their efforts people like Osvaldo de Melo, who as head of the Press Section of the CTC management functions performed; Sara del Carmen Zaldívar, chief information; Mario Castillo and Lucas Tarragó, journalists, and Rolando Montalván, Ángel Lazo and Rodolfo Amiama, photographers. In charge of printing was Guillermo Hernández, manager of the printing of the CTC, who had the precious participation of Orlando Núñez and the collective of that center and that of workshop workers of ancient newspaper El Mundo. Its pages addressed issues related to the labor movement, sugar harvest work, internal life of unions, practice of proletarian internationalism and class solidarity. In them, for many years workers found guidance on labor legislation of the country, and help about what to do to fix problems and worries related to the workplace.
The XIII Congress of the CTC, in November 1973, save special significance for Los Trabajadores, because it was approved the resolution endorsing the need for its existence. For this called Lázaro Peña from his starring role in the revitalization of unions, coinciding also with the run-up to the great event of the Cuban proletariat. Although in the beginning was distributed free in meetings of workers and through the workplace, in November 1974 began the sale of Los Trabajadores, which was selected the populous corner of L and 23, in El Vedado.
Since 1975 left behind the biweekly output –sometimes monthly- for do it once a week, and the next year to two. With the same format, patterns and the number of pages, arrived in 1977, in July disappeared article and began to name Trabajadores, without the article's, which until then had been part of his name. Between October and November 1977, Trabajadores moved into the building that had been turned off after the fire of the newspaper El Mundo, in Virtudes y Águila. In 1978 the frequency increased to three a week and 2 December 1980 became daily. In 1997, Trabajadores created its own website.
In the beginning it was a twelve-page tabloid with a print run never more than three thousand copies, which left irregularly until he could be biweekly. In 1975 it acquired the broadsheet, with six pages, and color only in the first and the last, justified to four and six columns, either. The identifier of the CTC, later removed, appeared to the left of the head.
A thesis work done by students of the Institute of Design (ISDI in Spanish), shows that in that year and the following: "The body text typeface had no formal or conceptual basis, as their selection was subject to the availability of types in the workshop, for holders was the Futura. The pictures are rounded vertices. "The structure of the front favored their visibility on the streets, because the photos were the top stories on the top half of the newspaper, was generally organized, yet traditional, and the information was in good ranking."
In 1977 it was initiated the use of fillets, chain lines and boxes, to separate the news, and even dabbled in infographic as a means of enriching the information. In March following changes were made to the presentation of the name, it reduced the number of photos on the first page, the information were ranked according to their importance, and was used to separate target.
At deeper analysis of the issues for 1979, ISDI students concluded that remained "the same characteristics of the previous year, except his head, which again is changed in April this year (...)" "It was took up the fillets and Watermarks. Combined in the body text, serif and sans serif, and holders inside are starting to use type’s displays. Increases the number of images per page."
This continued until the December 2, 1980, when it became a daily. According to the statements of the students, from that moment began the use of orange to the head, which moved within the page. Also in the front was used only sans serif, but not in the other. There was an increased use of text images, and the body of the first cartoons was inserted.
With the number 17 of 28 April 1997, was introduced in Internet Trabajadores with an initial print very basic structure, held in Front page by Víctor Fernández, specialist in scientific-technical information. In Internet were turning the numbers printed on every Monday, with the relevant sections of national, international, culture, sports, health and then matching section with readers, reproduced with the same name in 2009 Section .
The digital edition continued unabated in its design, frequency and content, and June 14, 2000, which became daily. Until then it was still assimilating published in print, and was updated at night by a computer specialist.
Earlier that same year was named chief Alina Martínez Triay, who also was acting as editor, in this work is accompanied by two operators responsible for the update. In addition to the contents of the weekly newspaper, began to included agencies cables and some sporadic reports of journalists of Trabajadores, but were essentially round tables at that time focusing on the battle for the return of Elián González. Subsequently spent editing the daytime, and joined an assistant editorial control had materials delivered by the journalists; later that person was replaced by a journalist with editor functions, to assist the head of publishing. Then entered a corrective hired and after a while, went to work Monday through Sunday, for which we adopted the following structure: A chief editor, three operators, two of them dedicated to the update in the morning, on alternate days, and the third from Tuesday to Friday afternoons, two editors who worked on alternate days and two correctors with equal labor system. Amounted to a total of eight people.
By then the digital edition already had an English version and a translator hired to translate texts themselves, primarily those published in print.
The initial design was changed in 2002, with the collaboration of Andro Perez Diz-time student at the Institute of Design (ISDI) -, and the page took a better organization of content and special spaces. In that followed another in 2003, which experienced changes especially in the sections and information architecture. Other changes in the presentation took place in 2005, and continued adjustments effected until June 2007, when it introduced the automated content management Plone and design totally changed. This work was undertaken by engineers at the University of Computing Sciences (UCI in Spanish).
Under these conditions envisaged a team composed of a chief editor, two publishers and two editors working on alternate days, an interactive editor to attend forums and polls, a graphical editor responsible with the introduction of infographics, multimedia, galleries and Bulletin attention, and two managing partners dedicated to information needed for special work in coordination with the documentation center, work positioning and statistics, then one of them moved from job. Technical problems with Plone simply prevented the fulfillment of the functions expected of the graphical editor, publisher and interactive information manager responsible for monitoring the position and statistics.
The above does not mean that these comrades no longer perform useful tasks as acquired knowledge within their editing work, and to introduce galleries and videos, among other products, and work primarily coverage of important issues. All of them have joined courses be overcome in order to be better able to perform the functions, designed for the current edition, could not run. At the same time, the group is engaged in the design of a new website, with other content management system.
Trabajadores regularly sections
- "Nacionales" – national news of interest for workers.
- "Buzón Abierto" – articles motivated by letters of readers and answers of government agencies.
- "Salud" – articles about health issues.
- "Sin pausa" – articles related to update process of economic and social model.
- "Cultura" – news, interviews and opinion articles about arts and literacy.
- "Al pan, pan" – cultural reviews.
- "Deportes" – news, interviews and opinion articles about sports.
- "Internacionales" – international news and articles
- "Visión sindical" – short news related to workplace.
- Trabajadores Digital (Spanish)