- by Vinnie Molina
- The Guardian
- Issue #1957
It was with great sadness we received the news in Australia of the passing of comrade Gilda Chacón on the 8th April 2021. Born in the Cienfuegos province on the 4th of February 1960, Gilda was an excellent trade union, community, and communist leader.
She began her trade union work in 1981 while working as a high school English teacher. From 1989 she worked in the Cuban National Education Union and was promoted to the Cuban Workers’ Central International Department in 1994.
Gilda was a champion in her community where she was elected as a delegate to the Assembly of People’s Power.
On her several visits to Australia she established strong and lasting relationships with trade union leaders and rank and file unionists in Australian unions including in the CFMEU, MUA, ETU, AMWU, Teachers’ Union and also with several parliamentarians.
Her knowledge of Australia was recognised in Cuba where she was seen as a person who had cultivated and grown the friendship between Cuban and Australian workers.
Her contribution to solidarity work, in particular against the US blockade on Cuba and for the freedom of the Cuban Five in Australia, was exemplary. Gilda encouraged and supported the tradition for trade union delegations from Australia to travel to Cuba to celebrate May Day and she always made us feel at home.
Gilda most recently worked at the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) headquarters in Athens and represented WFTU in Geneva.
Sadly, Gilda lost her battle to cancer on the 8th April. The Communist Party of Australia sends its deepest condolences to her son Marlon, her friends and comrades in the Cuban Workers’ Central and the Communist Party of Cuba.
Vale comrade Gilda Chacon!
* Vinnie Molina is President of the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) and a trade union organiser with the CFMEU WA branch.