Forging Change: Collective Bargaining

Go Lean Commentary

Want to re-negotiate? You must be prepared to  give the other party something they don’t currently have:

To the Caribbean Cruise industry, we present you: a Single Market of 42 million consumers.

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These 42 million people were always there, just not considered potential customers for the Cruise Line Industry. But money is money; it still spends the same way.

This seems so familiar!

This feels like the Southern US during the days of Jim Crow Racial Segregation. The US States practicing these policies where the “best place to live” if you were White. The Black people were there, facilitating and supporting commerce and industry, but were not supposed to be seen; they were 2nd Class citizens … in their own country. The Merchants wanted their money, just not their presence.

If you were Black and wanted to get lunch from a cafeteria, you had to “Go outback and get brown bag food from the kitchen”, while White customers got the hospitality of in-store dining.

Same money; different respect. The protests against this blatant wrong practice galvanized the US and the Civil Rights movement. See photos here:

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See the news article in the Appendix below, commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Struggles of the early 1960’s. It has been 53 years now, since the abolition of this bad policy with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This history is sitting here as a teaching moment for us in the Caribbean:

Has our region learned any lessons from this history?

It can be concluded that the answer is “No”! We have tolerated an unjust system here in our region in which the 42 million residents in the Caribbean have been treated as 2nd Class citizens … in their own countries regarding local cruise consumption.

If you’re a Caribbean citizen and you want to take a Caribbean cruise, you have to fly to Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, Port Canaveral, Baltimore, New York or Puerto Rico to originate the cruise, even though the ships itinerary may come right to your Caribbean port. This means you Nassau, Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, St Thomas, St. Martin and others.

Welcome to 1960’s … redux!

There is the need to forge change in the Caribbean; the same as there was the need to forge change in 1960’s America. Consuming cruises is just one of the challenges that we have to contend with in our region. This is reflective of the disrespect that exists in our society. We have dysfunctions in our economics, security and governing engines. We are 2nd class citizens on the world stage! We have the greatest address on the planet – demonstrated in that 80 million tourists consume our marketplace every year, 10 million via cruises – and yet our own people have to break down the doors to get out to find the respectful life that they need, want and deserve in foreign countries.

Enough! Time to change … here … now! But how?

This is the quest of the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean. It presents a roadmap to change – to elevate – Caribbean society by rebooting the economic, security and governing engines in the 30 member-states that constitute the Caribbean. The book opens with the thesis (Page 3) that the problems of the Caribbean are too big for any one member-state to tackle alone. Cruise vacations are not one of our biggest problems, but the issues here-in are indicative of the lack of respect we have in our region and as a region of 30 separate entities. We need the change of being considered one entity; we need Collective Bargaining. Yes, it makes us more formidable in our negotiations with the Cruise Lines, but as stated in the opening, it also brings something new to the table that the Cruise Lines do not currently have: our 42 million local consumers.

According to a previous Go Lean blog-commentary, this could be a win-win for all stakeholders connected to the cruise tourism eco-system:

Some of the most popular cruise destinations include the Bahamas, Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Saint Martin. Alone, these port cities/member states cannot effect change on this cruise line industry. But together, as one unified front, the chances for success improves exponentially. The unified front is the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). The term Union is more than a coincidence; it was branded as such by design. The Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the CU.

The vision of this integration movement is for the region to function as a Single Market. The quotation from the Go Lean book continues in advocating that the Caribbean member-states (independent & dependent) lean-in to this plan for confederacy, convention and collaboration. This is Collective Bargaining 101. From the outset, the book recognized the significance of our exercising authority over the Caribbean Seas. This point was pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Page 11):

    v. Whereas the natural formation of our landmass and coastlines entail a large portion of waterscapes, the reality of management of our interior calls for extended oversight of the waterways between the islands. The internationally accepted 12-mile limits for national borders must be extended by International Tribunals to encompass the areas in between islands. The individual states must maintain their 12-mile borders while the sovereignty of this expanded area, the Exclusive Economic Zone, must be vested in the accedence of this Federation.

The confederacy goal entails accepting that there is interdependence among the Caribbean member-states. Implementation-wise, this shifts the responsibility for cruise line negotiations to a region-wide, professionally-managed, deputized technocracy that can result in greater production and greater accountability.

So this is one strategy for forging change in our region, in this case: collective bargaining, on behalf of the 42 million consumers in the Caribbean. This is a continuation of the various strategies, tactics and implementations that have been considered for forging change here in the homeland. These have been identified in a series of previous Go Lean blog-commentaries over the past 2 & 1/2 years, this is the tenth submission. These were presented as follows, in reverse chronological order:

  1. Forging Change – Collective Bargaining (Today)
  2. Forging Change – Addicted to Home (April 14, 2017)
  3. Forging Change – Arts & Artists (December 1, 2016)
  4. Forging Change – Panem et Circenses (November 15, 2016)
  5. Forging Change – Herd Mentality (October 11, 2016)
  6. Forging Change – ‘Something To Lose’ (November 18, 2015)
  7. Forging Change – ‘Food’ for Thought (April 29, 2015)
  8. Forging Change – Music Moves People (December 30, 2014)
  9. Forging Change – The Sales Process (December 22, 2014)
  10. Forging Change – The Fun Theory (September 9, 2014)

This commentary is urging Caribbean stakeholders to come together – to collaborate, convene and confederate – to better negotiate with Third Parties to forge change and impact the people that live, work and play here in the Caribbean.

This quest is conceivable, believable and achievable. Look at this news article here that depicts that one Cruise Line (Tropicana Cruises) and one port city (Port Castries, St. Lucia) who have implemented a strategy of local consumption. (The arrangement exists for other ports as well, as in Trinidad).

Title: New cost effective way for St. Lucians to cruise the Caribbean 

Saint Lucians now have a cost effective way to cruise the Caribbean.

Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for tourism, Hon. Dominic Fedee, was on hand to greet the crew of the MV Adriana for its maiden call to Port Castries.

Accompanied by the Executive Chairperson of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB) Agnes Francis, the minister said he was pleased at what this new development means for the people of Saint Lucia.

“Saint Lucians will now have a chance to board a cruise from Port Castries without having to fly to any destination or any other home port but right here from Saint Lucia,” he said.

Owner of the MV Adriana Captain Sergey Poniatovsky gave a background to the rationale of the visa-free Caribbean cruise.

“This ship is very unique, it is not like any other cruise ship. The ship is specifically for Caribbean islands, it is like a discovery vessel, with a family and private yacht atmosphere. We have an incredible itinerary which allows people living within these West Indies to have a synergy between islands. We have the opportunity to show each island nation as a destination and bring families together.”

In addition to touring the ship, the minister and the ship captain exchanged gifts to mark the momentous occasion.

Information on the MV Adriana Caribbean cruise can be found at the Saint Lucia Tourist Board and local travel agents.
Source: St Lucia Times Daily Newspaper – Posted March 30, 2017; retrieved April 27, 2017 from:

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This quest for collective bargaining (negotiations) is both an art and a science. The Go Lean book describes this fact in a chapter on negotiations entitled  (Page 32):

10 Ways to Improve Negotiations

#2 – Bargain from Position of Strength
For the CU, negotiation is an art and a science. As a technocratic institution representing the economic integration of the region, we must project the Single Market as bigger than initial appearances. The CU represents 42 million people in 30 member-states, with a GDP of over $800 Billion, but also some 8 million [to 20 million] engaged members of the Caribbean Diaspora, scattered throughout the US, Canada and EU countries. There are also many visitors, one estimate is at 80 million yearly. The economic opportunities, catering to this market, can be quite enormous, once properly exploited.

What is the art?

The fact that different people get different results from negotiations is indicative of the fact that not all people are Negotiating Artist.

Sounds familiar?

This was the campaign line from Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States. Previously as a successful business man and media star, he was proud of his artistic accomplishment in the arena of negotiations. His co-wrote this book to this effect:

Book title: “The Art of the Deal”

President Donald J. Trump lays out his professional and personal worldview in this classic work—a firsthand account of the rise of America’s foremost deal-maker.

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“I like thinking big. I always have. To me it’s very simple: If you’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.”—Donald J. Trump

Here is Trump in action—how he runs his organization and how he runs his life—as he meets the people he needs to meet, chats with family and friends, clashes with enemies, and challenges conventional thinking. But even a maverick plays by rules, and Trump has formulated time-tested guidelines for success. He isolates the common elements in his greatest accomplishments; he shatters myths; he names names, spells out the zeros, and fully reveals the deal-maker’s art. And throughout, Trump talks—really talks—about how he does it. Trump: The Art of the Deal is an unguarded look at the mind of a brilliant entrepreneur—the ultimate read for anyone interested in the man behind the spotlight.
Source: retrieved April 27, 2017 from:

What about the science?

Nobel Prize Winner John F. Nash (1928 – 2015) is best known for his landmark work in applying science to the process of collective bargaining and negotiations (Game Theory). He was the subject character in the Hollywood movie: A Beautiful Mind; see Movie Trailer in the Appendix VIDEO. These encyclopedia details relate:

He was a mathematician who made fundamental contributions to game theorydifferential geometry, and the study of partial differential equations.[2][3] Nash’s work has provided insight into the factors that govern chance and decision-making inside complex systems found in everyday life.

His theories are widely used in Economics. Serving as a Senior Research Mathematician at Princeton University during the latter part of his life, he shared the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with game theorists Reinhard Selten and John Harsanyi. …

Nash earned a Ph.D. degree in 1950 with a 28-page dissertation on Non-cooperative Games.[13][14] His thesis contained the definition and properties of the [now widely accepted] Nash Equilibrium.


The Nash equilibrium – a subset of game theory – is a solution concept of a non-cooperative game involving two or more players in which each player is assumed to know the equilibrium strategies of the other players, and no player has anything to gain by changing only his or her own strategy.[1] If each player has chosen a strategy and no player can benefit by changing strategies while the other players keep theirs unchanged, then the current set of strategy choices and the corresponding payoffs constitutes a “Nash Equilibrium”. The Nash equilibrium is one of the foundational concepts in game theory. The reality of the Nash Equilibrium of a game can be tested using experimental economics methods.

Stated simply, Amy and Phil are in Nash Equilibrium if Amy is making the best decision she can, taking into account Phil’s decision while Phil’s decision remains unchanged, and Phil is making the best decision he can, taking into account Amy’s decision while Amy’s decision remains unchanged. Likewise, a group of players are in Nash equilibrium if each one is making the best decision possible, taking into account the decisions of the others in the game as long as the other party’s decision remains unchanged.

Game theorists use the Nash equilibrium concept to analyze the outcome of the strategic interaction of several decision makers. In other words, it provides a way of predicting what will happen if several people or several institutions are making decisions at the same time, and if the outcome depends on the decisions of the others. The simple insight underlying John Nash’s idea is that one cannot predict the result of the choices of multiple decision makers if one analyzes those decisions in isolation. Instead, one must ask what each player would do, taking into account the decision-making of the others.

Nash equilibrium has been used to analyze hostile situations like war and arms races[2] (see prisoner’s dilemma), and also how conflict may be mitigated by repeated interaction (see tit-for-tat). It has also been used to study to what extent people with different preferences can cooperate (see battle of the sexes), and whether they will take risks to achieve a cooperative outcome (see stag hunt). It has been used to study the adoption of technical standards,[citation needed] and also the occurrence of bank runs and currency crises (see coordination game). Other applications include traffic flow (see Wardrop’s principle), how to organize auctions (see auction theory), the outcome of efforts exerted by multiple parties in the education process,[3] regulatory legislation such as environmental regulations (see tragedy of the Commons),[4] analysing strategies in marketing[5] and even penalty kicks in football [(soccer)] (see matching pennies).[6]
Source: Retrieved April 27, 2017 from;

The Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) is presented in the Go Lean book as a technocratic organization, where best-practices (art) and scientific methods are the norm. The book features the following chapter (Page 64):

Fostering a Technocracy

#1 – Lean-in for the Caribbean Single Market.
This treaty calls for a technocratic confederation of the Caribbean region into a single market of 30 member-states and 42 million people. The term technocracy was originally used to designate the application of the scientific method to solving social & economic problems, in counter distinction to the traditional political or philosophic approaches. The CU must start as a technocratic confederation – a Trade Federation – rather than evolving to this eventuality due to some failed-state status or insolvency.

The art-and-science of negotiation is part-and-parcel of the heavy-lifting the Go Lean movement envisions for the Caribbean technocracy. Considering the natural law: “Reap what you sow”, we should be able to generate the benefits anticipated in the stated prime directives, identified with the following 3 statements:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines.

Underlying to this issue of collective bargaining and negotiation is the quest to forge changes in the cruise industry – jobs and commerce are at stake. The Go Lean movement has frequently blogged on issues and efforts related to improving the cruise eco-system for the region. Consider these samples: New Security Chip in Credit Cards Unveiled Carnival to ban carry-on bottled beverages Cruise Passengers and Violent Crime Warnings Cruise Ship Commerce – Getting Ready for Change Tobago: A Model for Cruise Tourism Electronic Payments– Ready for Change in Cruise Commerce Regional aviation dysfunction leading to more cruise traffic

The elevation of cruise commerce in the region is one of 144 missions within the Go Lean roadmap. The book details the applicable community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementation and advocacies to succeed in these efforts. The Go Lean book explains that the benefits of this roadmap will not just happen, we must act; we must change and adapt to the changing world. The Cruise Line industry must also change, but we must present the end-result of these changes as win-win for all regional stakeholders.

In the end, the changes will be for the better; for the Greater Good and to promote a better partnership for all cruise industry stakeholders. These efforts will make Caribbean ports-of-call a better destination to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for the roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix Title: Key Clubs and the Slow Death of Restaurant Segregation

Soon after President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law on July 2, hundreds of restaurants across the South integrated.

I wrote about some of them in a recent Garden & Gun feature:

On July 3, Cafe du Monde, the coffee and beignet stand in the French Quarter of New Orleans, served its first black customers without incident. On July 5, the Sun and Sand motel in Jackson, Mississippi, served its first black dining room client, but closed the swimming pool.

Dozens more refused to desegregate. In the years after, the names of those restaurant owners became infamous:  McClung in Alabama. Bessinger in South Carolina. Boyd in Georgia.

Their stories of defiance have long fascinated me.

One of the longest-running standoffs occurred in Shaw, Mississippi, where Dinty Moore owned and operated the Shady Nook. Over the course of a fifty-two year career, Dinty Moore, who died in 1984, never served a black man or woman in his restaurant’s dining room.

For an Oxford American column, published in 2000, I spoke with his son, Dana Moore:

“I talked to daddy about that back when the law was passed,” Dana told me. “I was serving in the legislature then and it seemed like everybody was looking for a way around the law. Things were different then. Daddy was thinking about making the café into a private club like some places were doing. I advised him that if he did, he needed to do it legally, to incorporate and get chartered as a bona fide private club. Next thing I knew, he was selling keys to the place for a dollar apiece and calling it the Shady Nook Key Club.”

Soon thereafter, the front door to the green masonry building was locked for good and a one-way mirror was installed so that Dinty Moore could see out but no one could see in. A door key or a smiling white face became the coin of the realm for those seeking admittance to the Shady Nook.

In this moment when we justly celebrate how far we have come since 1964, it’s also important to recognize that the struggle for equal access to public accommodations didn’t end on July 2 of that year.
Source: Posted July 1, 2014; retrieved April 27, 2017 from:


Appendix VIDEO – A Beautiful Mind Movie (2001) Official Trailer

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