Castro, Banks Discuss Future of CN Fleet

Source: Globe and Mail Tuesday April 28 1959, p. 17.

Castro, Banks Discuss
Future of CN Fleet

Montreal, April 27 (Staff) — Fidel Castro, Cuba’s prime minister, and Hal C. Banks, Canadian chieftain of the Seafarers International Union, have reached an understanding on the Cuban-owned former Canadian National Steamships fleet.

Mr. Banks said today that as a result of his conversations with Premier Castro he expects some action will be taken very soon that would free the eight-ship fleet tied up since it was struck by the SIU in 1957.

The ships were sold to Cuba in a third-party deal, but the fleet has been immobilized by a boycott of maritime unions.

Banks and Premier Castro met here in a downtown hotel during the Cuban leader’s visit to Montreal. Mr. Banks said the ownership of the vessels was clarified in the discussions, but he declined to disclose the decisions reached at the conference.

However, the SIU leader confessed that he had been impressed by the Cuban leader. He had made it clear, Mr. Banks said, that he would not be a party to strikebreaking.

Mr. Banks also disclosed that he is going to Cuba next month to help establish a Caribbean — West Indian — Canadian — U.S. transportation conference aimed at providing mutual assistance for participating unions.

“We are going to discuss the general economic problems facing the unions in Cuba,” he added.

Transcribed far research purposes by Kathleen Moore on 27 March 2009 2h20 a.m. from a photocopy of the article provided by Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa in a brown envelope postmarked 2008-03-31.

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