Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Concern About Housing

FL0907125388 Havana Television Service in Spanish 0000 GMT 9 Jul 88

[Text] [Announcer] Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, first secretary of the
PCC Central Committee and president of the Councils of State and Ministers,
is presiding over the second day of sessions of the meeting for enterprises
from the Havana provinces.  The debates have analyzed in detail the
problems affecting certain sectors of the economy and they show how much we
have advanced since the second meeting was held last year.

The promotion list has traditionally been used to establish a consecutive
order in the labor sector.  This formula allowed a worker with a certain
length of time at his post but with low professional quality to rise to a
higher-level, more complicated position which proved to be an unsuitable
situation.  Representatives of the electronics enterprise in Havana spoke
on this topic.  They said that this conventional system of promotions was
eliminated at their center.

[Begin first speaker recording] There were workers who knew less than
others and they held supervisory positions.  For example, an operator was
over a worker of quality.  As we were saying, this operator would cheat on
the equipment and the equipment would pass through quality control.  What
eventually happened is that the workers themselves became aware that they
were cheating and this, of course, affected production.  This was the
primary reason that the workers were against the promotion roster. [end

[Announcer] This experience was also encountered at the La Corona tobacco

[Begin second speaker recording] The tobacco workers accepted the promotion
list in general.  In addition, the promotion list was decided by position.
What was the result of this?

A comrade who reached a certain category, such as the fourth, fifth, sixth
category, was placed permanently in that category.  A young comrade would
enter who, after 6, 7, 8 months, or 1 year, was better skilled than the one
who held the higher position, and yet he could not be promoted to the sixth
category.  He would have to wait until someone in the higher category
retired or died to be able to hold the post.  This is a setback to
developing a worker's interest in advancing his position.  It is also a
negative factor. [end recording]

[Announcer] The comrades of the electronics enterprise also mentioned the
construction of homes by minibrigades.  The commander in chief expressed
concern about these houses.  He asked if they were linked to the work

[Begin recording] [Castro] A residential area is under construction there?

[Third speaker] Yes, we now have two minibrigades that are practically
right in the forefront of the industry.

[Castro] Are those homes for the workers [vinculadas]?  This explains it.
When that confounded housing law was passed, the country's interest was
emphasized.  Certain houses in isolated, distant locations would be
designated for workers in order to better stabilize the work force.  These
houses would not be subject to the same process as other houses, such as in
Centro Habana, Vedado, or any other municipality.

Stability is needed in those isolated areas.  It is convenient to have the
workers live close by, to avoid having thousands of people traveling from
Centro Habana or the Vedado to those distant locations.  This is the

Many of these matters that we speak about are fluctuations.  They damage
production and quality.  When an idea is developed to promote stability in
the work force, we do not concern ourselves.  We give a house at the
(Balance) spinning mill the same treatment as a house anywhere else, an
apartment in Vedado or the city.

There are many places where, because of the distance and the large number
of workers, we should link the homes to the jobs.  We should not
unconditionally trespass property rights because those workers... [corrects
himself] those job-linked homes are passed onto the workers after they have
been working at the center for several years.  As I understand it, they are
even charged a little less for those homes.

We have stated in the agricultural sector that houses should be linked to
jobs because at the beginning of the revolution, we built towns in the
country, in sugarcane areas, or in [words indistinct] areas.  After 10 or
15 years, 80 percent of the people who lived there had nothing to do with
agricultural work.  They were industry workers, drivers, bus drivers.  It's
very sad to build a town in the country to give stability to the work
force, to give the workers a home, and after 10 or 15 years, 80 percent of
the people there have nothing to do with agriculture.  This is crazy. [end