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Latino Daily News

Monday December 26, 2011

Cuba Shifting More Workers to Private Sector

Cuba Shifting More Workers to Private Sector

Photo: Cuban Govt Adds More Jobs Private Sector

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Starting in January, the Cuban government will expand its policy of shifting certain state workers who provide services, such a carpenters and shoemakers, to the private sector after implementing the measure this month for barber shops and beauty salons, Communist Party daily Granma said Monday.

The regulation states that workers who previously belonged to the staff of the state-run Technical, Personal and Household Services corporation will now become contractors.

The new system will apply to carpenters, photographers, locksmiths, upholsterers, watchmakers, cobblers, and repairmen for jewelry and electrical equipment, among other specialties.

Granma said the measure will be implemented “gradually” starting January in six of the nation’s 15 provinces, and will be extended progressively to the remaining regions.

While the premises and equipment included in the lease will continue to be state property, the workers will set their own schedule of working hours and the prices they charge for their services.

The daily said that the new measures will continue to advance the plan of economic adjustments promoted by the Raul Castro government in terms of “introducing non-state enterprises” in the services and retail sectors.

In 2009 the Cuban government launched its first experiment with this policy in some state-run barber shops and beauty salons that were leased to their workers and whose definitive transition to the private sector was implemented on Dec. 1.

The government’s economic reforms were approved in April by the 6th Communist Party Congress and signify a small, controlled opening to private enterprise, the “slimming down” of the inflated work forces of the state sector and the progressive elimination of subsidies and “unnecessary paternalism.”

Official figures show there are currently 358,000 Cubans working in the incipient private sector, twice as many as two years ago before the government began expanding self-employment in October 2010.

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