Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


FL150325 Havana Television Service in Spanish 0100 GMT 15 Jan 87

[Text] Our Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, first secretary of the Central
Committee and president of the Councils of State and Ministers, is
presiding over the final session of the 53d plenum of the Central
Organization of Cuban Trade Unions [CTC] National Committee being held at
the Palace of Workers' Lazaro Pena Theater.

This working session is characterized by a frank and open dialogue between
the top leader of the revolution and the participants.

Fidel referred to the problems of production quotas, work efficiency, and
payment of the actual work performed.

[Begin recording] [Video shows Castro speaking from his seat at the
presiding table] I know the kind of thing we should do. If we find these
types of formulas in everything undoubtedly we would make much more
progress. I am sure you use there the minimum number of men, a minimum
amount of machinery, and you use what is absolutely necessary in fuel,
tires, parts, oil, etc.

[Unidentified delegate responds from the podium] But I will say something
that although you have supported that and has helped us in clearing up some
confusion, I have to say that in those squads the salary of the operators
has been considerably increased.

[Castro] Who is scared by that?

[Delegate] What?

[Castro] Who is scared by that?

[Delegate] Some get scared. Some get scared because you say something and
sometimes what you say is not understood.

[Castro] Nobody has opposed and nobody can be opposed to a man having a
larger salary because he works more. [applause] I can give you an example.
At the time Reinaldo Castro cut 1,000 arrobas when others cut 150 and 200,
was anyone opposed to Reinaldo Castro collecting a salary according to the
cane he cut?

[Delegate] Nobody.

[Castro] Has anyone ever been opposed that the mechanized canecutter
operator collect according to the cane he cuts? Not only that but at a
certain time a wage differential [coefficient ramal] was established to the
cane in which that millionaire canecutter... [changes thought] and the
proof is that many of those millionaire brigade members have cars. I have
been told that you can see a large parking place there. I have never seen
anyone, absolutely nobody has ever questioned a millionaire canecutter's
salary. How many of these canecutters have traveled? Some of them have
traveled for free in addition to having a good salary. Some of them have
traveled for free as a reward. It would be absurd to question in because
the man has made a greater effort, or has more adequate rational conditions
to achieve that productivity. Well, they have achieved it with a better
organization, with more work. Not by working 5 hours or 4 1/2 hours or 6
hours but by working 14, 15, or 16 hours. Actually, there should be no
concern in that sense. I wish we did everything like that so that we could
achieve three times as many things.

What has motivated criticism are those salaries that do not correspond with
production, with work, or with those jobs in which technology has been
introduced. Imagine that all of a sudden you paid the mechanized canecutter
the same salary you pay the manual canecutter.

Because the mechanized canecutter operator performs 40 times more than one
man, or perhaps 30 times more, and you pay the same amount for the same
quota, for the same amount of cane to the man who cuts it manually. No
matter how bad the mechanized canecutter is it can cut what 10 Reinaldo
Castro's cut. If it does not cut 10 times as much it at least cuts eight
times as much what Reinaldo Castro cut. You cannot pay the mechanized
canecutter operator eight times as much. You have to introduce a method of
payment. What you have to introduce there is a good work organization and a
better utilization of the work day, increase the number of hours worked by
men. Undoubtedly the country and society would benefit from that man
earning more. I wish many of those kinds of formulas would be introduced.
That has no relation with all the things we are criticizing and rectifying.
[end recording]

[Announcer] Fidel also referred to the profitability of enterprises and the
economic distortions that had been implemented.

[Castro] I am investigating the reasons why an enterprise is profitable or
not. It is terrible! But for example a minister was telling me -- I wanted
to investigate the different factors involved. I asked how much accounts
for the under-utilization of the work force, inflated payrolls, the misuse
of the work day, for indirect workers in production, and all that. What
other reasons? You have an example in the dairy enterprises that have to
sell milk at 25 pesos... [corrects himself] 25 centavos. They have to buy
it at 30, 32, 34, 35, depending on the quality of milk. The state is
subsidizing the enterprise instead of subsidizing the milk. Can an
enterprise which is forced by the state to sell the final product cheaper
than what the processed raw material...[corrects himself] the raw material
it is going to process cost? It is absolutely impossible. It is absolutely
impossible that an enterprise can be profitable. [end recording]