Monday, December 28, 2009

Few Cuban take advantage of recent legislation allowing second job

Few Cuban take advantage of recent legislation allowing second job
Posted 09:57 AM ET

Dec 16, 2009 (BBC Monitoring via COMTEX) -- [Report by "Correspondence
Received" columnist Jose Alejandro Rodriguez, who is also a panellist on
Radio Rebelde's "Straight Talk" panel discussion programme: "Few Have
More Than One Job in Cuba" [Discreta aun la aplicacion del pluriempleo
en Cuba]]

A little more than 50,000 Cubans, a modest number, were working two jobs
last October and November, pursuant to the Council of State's Decree Law
268 of 2009, which relaxes the country's labour system and makes it
legal to take on an additional job.

Jose Barreiro, deputy minister of Labour and Social Security (MTSS),
reported in a press conference that six months after the enactment of
268, nearly 97 per cent of the people working an additional job do so in
service activities, primarily in the field of education.

In Cuba more than a few payrolls are still bloated, which is why this
relaxation to allow plural employment will be shaped by this situation.
Moreover, it is only a supplementary option. It will not be a magic wand
if the payment system is not redesigned to promote productivity,
quality, and efficiency.

It is well known that results-based payment, promoted by the MTSS, has
met resistance and more than a few obstacles in the country.

Even so, Decree Law 268 is an instrument that if used correctly may
ensure the production and services of sectors that are still facing a
shortage of labour, such as agriculture. During specific periods of
harvest and preparation, this sector could benefit from the contribution
of more workers, who in turn will see their earnings increase.

First and foremost, agencies must manage the labour force efficiently
and rationally. Plural employment must not become the means to which we
resort to cover up waste and inefficiency.

According to reports, the number of students working more than one job
is insignificant, even though Decree Law 268 makes it legal to employ
young men and women in higher and advanced secondary education courses
for a determined period of time.

The initiative is in the early going, and coordination is still needed
among labour leaders, territorial institutions and companies, the FEU
[Federation of University Students], and the FEEM [Federation of
Secondary School Students] to facilitate the hiring process.

Nevertheless, the decree establishes that students at these levels may
be hired to perform any activity or duty, provided that they meet the
necessary qualifications and skill requirements. They shall be
compensated commensurate with performance and granted all the rights of
labour and social security legislation. Student shifts shall be agreed
upon with the respective managers, provided that they do not affect or
limit their academic performances.

During journalist questions, Jose Barreiro underscored that Decree Law
268 is only an instrument for relaxing the system. It alone cannot solve
the problems of labour efficiency in Cuba. He acknowledged that much
more must be done, with different instruments, to reinforce work as the
only source of wealth in the country.

Source: Juventud Rebelde website, Havana, in Spanish 16 Dec 09 - Few Cuban take advantage of recent legislation allowing
second job (28 December 2009)

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