Cuba reforms wage laws to pay workers based on amount done

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cuba has reformed its wage system to pay workers on the basis of productivity. The communist state had previously paid all workers the same, and has done since the 1959 revolution.

The move, announced by Vice-Minister for Labour Carlos Mateu, is one of a series of changes introduced by Raul Castro, who took over from ill brother Fidel Castro. Mateu stated in Granma, the Communist Party of Cuba's newspaper, that workers who met targets would get a minimum bonus of 5%, that there would be no maximum salary and that managers whose teams increased production could receive a 30% bonus.

He said that there was previously no incentive for workers to work hard since they were always paid the same. Curently, the average wage for any profession is around US$20 (~13) per month. It has been suggested by the media that this reform marks a possible break away from socialist and marxist principles, since previous reforms only lifted restrictions on ownership of luxury goods.

"It's harmful to give a worker less than he deserves, it's also harmful to give him what he doesn't deserve," commented Granma.