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Latino Daily News

Wednesday May 21, 2014

Union Official: Cubans Know Higher Pay Depends on Productivity

Union Official: Cubans Know Higher Pay Depends on Productivity

Photo: Cuban economy

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Cuban workers realize that an increase in living standards is “impossible” without improvements in productivity, a union official from the Communist-ruled island said here Tuesday.

Milagros Perez Caballero, who is also a lawmaker, is in Spain to give a series of talks to explain the labor changes in Cuba after February’s 20th convention of the country’s sole legal union, the CTC.

At that meeting, in addition, participants discussed the issue of salaries in Cuba, at a time when the average monthly salary is 510 pesos ($20), without there being any possibility of increasing it.

The situation was explained to workers and they were told that the premises for a salary reform lie in an “opening up” of non-state labor, the suppression of “unnecessary subsidies,” the elimination of payrolls that do not conform to companies’ labor expectations and an increase in productivity, Perez Caballero told Efe.

Any possible modification of salaries would have to be examined sector by sector, she said.

“There is awareness among the workers that ... salary reform cannot occur right now,” she added.

With regard to the economic reforms being undertaken in Cuba, Perez Caballero said that they are designed to update the country’s economic model, but always with the end result of having “more socialism” and so that it may “thrive and be sustainable.”

“It’s socialism because the means of production are in the hands of the workers,” the CTC chief added, defending “a modernization of the management” of the economy in which the workers take responsibility for improving day to day efficiency.

Perez Caballero emphasized that the new Labor Code was debated in more than 60,000 assemblies and that the unemployment rate in Cuba is under 5 percent.

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