Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


FL291555 Havana Television Service in Spanish 0000 GMT 17 May 87

[Report by Lissette Bustamante and Nelson Notario Castro from Palace of
Conventions in Havana]

[Excerpts] Greetings, comrades. The Seventh National Association of Small
Farmers [ANAP] Congress continued today in this capital with the attendance
of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro. The topics discussed today were
sugarcane harvesting and related activities, and the need for technicians
and engineers to support this important economic activity. The correct use
of the soil, construction of houses at cooperatives, and the payment for
these houses were also discussed during today's session. Another topic
debated was the people's demands concerning the production of vegetables,
and everything concerning the agrarian production cooperatives'
self-support. The repair of motors was a topic discussed at length during
the session; this included transportation vehicles and agricultural

[Begin recording] [Carlos Manuel Baez] We thought the repair of motors
should be concentrated in one shop but the matter got out of hand. We sent
all types of motors to one shop, even when the motors needed minor repairs.
In 1986 we began to offer some spare parts to the CAI [Industrial
Automation Center] and cooperatives, so they could repair motors which had
problems with only one element. For example, a motor with a damaged piston,
valve, or ring. Therefore, we set aside 12 percent of the spare parts sent
to the main plants and distributed them throughout the provinces. This way
the motors do not have to be sent to the plants, which will only handle
motors that need a major overhaul. This work is done with mobile diagnosis
laboratories, which can handle the work.

[Fidel Castro] In other words, the main plants only handle motors that need
a major overhaul.

[Baez] Yes, major ones.

[Castro] You said that things got out of hand and motors were being sent in
for any minor repair.

[Baez] Correct.

[Castro] Well, you also said that you favor decentralization.

[Baez] Yes, for the...

[Castro, interrupting] This involves sending spare parts so the minor
repairs are done on site and there is no need to send out the motor. What
you say seems to imply the centralized shops are convenient [as heard] for
our national economy, given the spare parts that are saved, recovered, etc.
Likewise, you said it is not advisable for a cooperative to carry out a
major overhaul.

[Baez] Exactly.

[Castro] Furthermore, you say that the country will benefit from this,
economically speaking. This is easily understood, because you save parts
and materials. What is the reaction of users who had to send out their
tractor motor or equipment for repairs?

[Castro] They say that this is beneficial in the long run because, given
the current situation, their motors do not last long. The clients' motors
will not last long and they will have to purchase a large stock of spare
parts when their motors need a major overhaul. Referring to the motors'
durability... [changes thought] I don't know because I have seen many
jalopies around here. I do not know how the owners solve that problem. I
think that these vehicles are not sent to a shop for major overhauls. There
are some trucks and automobiles [laughs] that are at least 30 years old.
These are repaired with Soviet spare parts, and this and that. I imagine
this also leads to bartering and waggling, but the vehicles still work.
Anyway, I wanted to ask you: You say you have good mechanics -- expert
people and what have you -- and a good repair shop. Does this mean your
mechanics and your shop can handle major overhauls?

[Manuel Lopez] We are already doing that. We handle the Harvester engines,
Hino trucks engines, and everything else.

[Castro] How do you manage? Where do you get the spare parts?

[Lopez] We got some spare parts by repairing them. We have a plan to repair
all the engines in Hino trucks.

Two trucks broke down right in the middle of the sugar harvest and we
repaired them within 4 days. We have motors which were given a complete
overhaul and have not broken down again. These are motors for trucks that
handle 1 million arrobas of sugar cane.

[Castro] A complete overhaul?

[Lopez] Yes, a complete overhaul. The motors were taken apart and every
part was inspected. Commander, we do this...

[Castro, interrupting] How much did this cost?

[Lopez] Well, each repair job cost us, if you add the spare parts and
salary, 500 pesos. The repair of a motor formerly cost 1,600 pesos. With
due respect for the comrades in charge of quality control, we sometimes
installed motors that had been sent for repairs and they broke down again
within a week. I say this with due respect. I respect them and accept their

[Castro] Yes. You say that when you send a motor for repairs it usually
costs 1,600 pesos.

[Lopez] Yes, 1,600 pesos. That was the cost in the past. That was the cost.

[Castro] Yet the repairs now cost 500 pesos.

[Lopez] They now cost 500 pesos.

[Castro] The same type of repair?

[Lopez] The same and...

(Castro, interrupting] The same type of job?

[Lopez] Yes.

[Castro] How long does it take you to finish the job?

[Lopez] Well, the cost of the repair is usually 47 pesos.

[Castro] The cost of what? [Someone whispers: "He asked how long it

[Lopez] The money we pay the mechanic. This takes approximately 4 days...

[Castro interrupting] When you talk about 500 pesos you mean the mechanic's
pay plus the spare parts.

[Lopez] Yes, plus the spare parts. The spare parts cost approximately 400

[Castro] Correct. How long does this take?

[Lopez] Approximately 4 days. The mechanic works with an assistant. He
works until the motor...

[Castro interrupting] Did you rebuild any spare part?

[Lopez] We do rebuild the spare parts. If anyone worries that a spare part
will wear out I tell them not to worry because when you have to pay, when
you have to pay [repeats himself] you purchase what is necessary. However,
when someone else pays the bill you don't worry about that.

[Castro] Do you purchase the...

[Lopez interrupting] We purchase (corrects himself) we take the motor apart
and every part is inspected. We request the spare parts that we need. If
any part is damaged -- the pistons, sleeves -- we take the motor apart. The
mechanic says: Look, we need this and that. So we have to buy them.

[Castro] Yes, of course. I asked you: How long does this take?

[Lopez] To repair it?

[Castro] Yes.

[Lopez] For days, more or less.

[Castro] How long does it take when you send it to the main workshop?

[Lopez] No, no, no. Some motors have been there for 6 months!

[Castro] Six months, eh?

[Lopez] Yes, that is the truth. Everyone here knows that.

[Castro] Yes, yes, yes...sure, sure, sure.

[Lopez] This is not something new!

[Castro] What is the quality of the work?

[Lopez] Well, Commander, as I said, we have experience on this. Some
repaired motors were installed and they broke down within a week.

[Castro] They broke down?

[Lopez] Within a week. We have also received some good quality motors.
There is something else, Commander. We sent a motor [changes thought]
Please pay attention because this is something that we can prove. We defend
our work because we want our work to be profitable. Well, we sometimes sent
a motor for repairs without going inside simply because we had to. We had
to send it like that. We could not open it, even if the problem was simply
a damaged piston. Anyway, the motor had been working for 2 years and when
we got our motor back it turned out they had sent us a patched up motor
that is 5 or 6 years old. My motor was not sent back. I was sent one that
is 5 or 6 years old. I wish they had sent mine.

[Castro] You sent one motor and received another.

[Lopez] I received another; whichever one they repaired.

[Castro] I see. I don't think that you got paid for the one that you sent.

[Lopez] No, no, no. We have not been paid at all. I have received no money.
Anyway, it seems that a price will be established and we will be paid.

[Castro] Very well. We will continue to think about this. Let's hear what
the comrade wants to say.

[Baez] I want to mention the case of the repairs carried out at Manuel's
cooperative. This was possible because spare parts were shipped to the
provinces so they could handle small repairs -- for example, a loose piston
or something like that. Sometimes a complete assemblage is sold to repair a
motor, but this is not correct; you should first check the damage. Anyway,
we are now sending spare parts to repair the...

[Castro, interrupting] Where do you have the national repair workshops?

[Baez] The national workshops? The workshops to repair motors?

[Castro] Yes, to make these repairs.

[Baez] Yes. the T-75 and C-100 harvesters are repaired at the Lenin
Workshop in Camaguey. The [name indistinct] and MT-380 tractor motors, and
Romanian motors are repaired at the Villegas Plant in Villa Clara. We will
also repair the [name indistinct] motors sent from the eastern provinces in
Holguin, where we repair truck engines, because the Villa Clara workshop
cannot handle all the work. The Cabre workshop can handle 500 [name
indistinct] motors and 200 MT-380 motors.

[Castro] Perhaps it will be necessary to review all this to see what can be
done because many of those things... [changes thought] anyone can
understand, anyone can understand [repeats himself] that if you have to
send equipment for repairs to Camaguey, or another province in the country,
this involves all kinds of inconveniences -- shipment expenses, waste of
time, quality of the repair, who is responsible, who handles complaints
when the work is not done well, change of motor, and change of spare parts.
Once the motors arrive all the parts are disassembled. I imagine that all
this must certainly represent a problem and lead to complaints --
particularly when a motor is sent back and it doesn't work, or the motor
breaks down in a couple of weeks. There is no guarantee. We would also have
to analyze the cost of all this. Well, that is the large repair companies'
job. Are your organizations profitable?

[Baez] The Villagas and Lenin [workshops]?

[Castro] Yes. Are they profitable?

[Baez] Yes, they are profitable.

[Castro] However, the state cooperatives and enterprises are not profitable
but we need their services. [applause] I might ask whether the workshops
are profitable by judging their efficiency -- because their productivity is
high, their workers are disciplined and work as long as necessary, the
people are well organized, there are no sinecures, and there is no
bureaucracy. Is that profit the result of great efficiency or high prices
that allow a high profit? I know that many of the so-called profitable
companies simply exploit the people. This includes the service companies
and such -- which are extremely expensive. Does the agriculture sector have
centralized workshops like these?

[Baez] Yes, they do.

[Castro] All right. It seems we have to analyze this. We must see what we
have. I would say we have to rationalize this. We must see what is most
convenient in the majority of the cases and establish a better distribution
of spare parts to organize the decentralized workshops' activities. It
seems that the concept has to be modernized. However, we must also hear the
views of those who advocate centralized workshops and see what ideas they
have. [passage omitted] [end recording]