Wednesday, July 1, 2009

In Case You're Not Too Busy Standing in Line

When will they realize that salaries will not substantially rise until they break away from the dictums of a centralized, socialist economy?

June 30, 2009 Cuban Colada, The Miami Herald.
New law: It's OK to hold more than one job
Cubans may hold more than one job, says Decree No. 268, approved June 26 by the Council of State and announced Monday in the Communist Party daily Granma.The Council calls the concept "pluriemployment," explaining that "the workers, after fulfilling the duties of the post they hold, may enter into more than one work contract and receive the corresponding salary."

The announcement does not say how many jobs a worker may hold.Pluriemployment "is linked to the rational use of human resources and labor contracts" and is intended "to attenuate the effects of an aging population, stimulate work in society" and provide "the chance that the workers may increase their income."There are some exceptions. Multiple jobs are out of the question for "cadres and functionaries, health technicians and professionals, researchers, professors, teachers and auditors, except in the case of teaching or scientific research posts or others that are approved" by their current employers.High school and college students old enough to work may hold more than one job but only part-time and for a specific length of time.The City of Havana is empowered to hire workers who live in other provinces "to cover its work needs on a temporary or permanent basis," the decree says, citing the need "to stimulate the productive forces, make possible an increase in income" and enable "work to be the principal source of satisfaction for [Cubans'] material and spiritual needs."

The average monthly salary in Cuba is 415 pesos, about US$19. While the Cuban government subsidizes many food products and provides education and health care at no cost, that amount is not sufficient for most wage earners. Decree No. 268 appears to be a way to help Cubans to help themselves. To read the announcement in Granma, in Spanish, click here.

---Renato PĂ©rez Pizarro.

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