Cuba to axe one million state jobs | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 15, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 15, 2010

Cuba to axe one million state jobs

Cuba has announced plans to slash one million state jobs and encourage the growth of small businesses in a gamble it hopes can keep its communist system and floundering economy afloat.
Workers laid off from government jobs will no longer be sent home with partial pay, but will instead have to find other means to make a living, the Cuban Worker's Central, or CTC by its Spanish acronym, warned Monday.
It said more than 500,000 public sector jobs will be eliminated, in a first major cut, by March 2011.
"Our state neither can nor should continue maintaining companies... with inflated payrolls, and losses that are a drag on the economy, are counterproductive, generate bad habits and deform workers' performance," the CTC said.
President Raul Castro said in 2009 the government wanted to relocate more than a million state employees, sending shockwaves through a society grown accustomed to stable levels of employment over the last 50 years.
Cuba has a workforce of 4.9 million people in a country with 11.2 million population. The state controls 95 percent of the economy.
For years, the government has given laid off workers up to 60 percent of their salary while they wait to be placed in a new job.
But the CTC said it would "no longer be possible to indefinitely protect or subsidize workers' incomes."
The government is to now hand out 250,000 permits in some 120 different types of small business and is encouraging mechanics, hairdressers, gardeners and translators among others to apply, say documents circulating in workplaces.
Workers typically will pay a license fee, and sometimes rent. The government is hoping the emerging private sector can absorb workers but many analysts have their doubts.

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