Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Program on Workers Federation Congress Concludes
Havana Cubavision Network
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000002288
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL0202210090
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-90-024          Report Date:    05 Feb 90
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     4
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       7
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       01 Feb 90
Report Volume:       Monday Vol VI No 024


City/Source of Document:   Havana Cubavision Network

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Program on Workers Federation Congress Concludes

Source Line:   FL0202210090 Havana Cubavision Network in Spanish 0200 GMT 1 Feb

Subslug:   [Part Two of the ``Memories of a Congress'' program on the 16th
Congress of the Cuban Workers Federation held 24-28 January in

1.  [Part Two of the ``Memories of a Congress'' program on the 16th Congress of
the Cuban Workers Federation held 24-28 January in Havana--recorded]

2.  [Excerpts] [Passage omitted] [First unidentified speaker] Based on
calculations we made, based on an entire, very painstaking study we have been
conducting for two years about the country's savings for cement reserves, we
propose to reduce the cement consumption by eight percent for 1991, and by 10
percent for 1992. [Words indistinct] that the ministry has offered, this would
mean that in 1991 we would have 220,000 tons more, and 250,000 tons more in
1992; these estimates are quite conservative.

3.  In addition to the construction plan for those two years, this proposal
would permit us to build 25,000 more houses, 10 hospitals with 300 beds each,
100 cattle-raising complexes with 288 animals each, 640 hotel rooms for
tourism, 10 pig-raising complexes with 1,990 animals each, and 20 polyclinics. 
Even after this, there would still be some cement left in reserve.

4.  We are basing these calculations on the fact that from 1980 to the present,
the Ministry of Construction [MICONS] reduced its consumption index from 720 to
443, saving 276 kg of cement [figures as heard].  This is equivalent to
approximately 40 percent of MICONS' reduction.  We are simply proposing to
reduce cement production by eight and 10 percent in two years, to give a total
of about nine percent.  This volume of cement would also allow us to save
188,000 tons of oil.  This is why I wanted to make these proposals and submit
them to the consideration of the delegates, who in fact are the workers.  At
the fundamental level, they will also have to struggle to achieve these goals. 
We cannot make savings a simple slogan; we cannot call it a simple desire.  We
must create systematic control procedures through which we could--also
systematically--determine what we achieve.

5.  [Castro] In what year was your consumption index 720 kg?

6.  [First unidentified speaker] In 1980.

7.  [Castro] 1980?

8.  [First unidentified speaker] Yes.

9.  [Castro] It was not 1985, but...

10.  [First unidentified speaker, interrupting] No, 1980.

11.  [Castro] Tell me, why was 720 kg used?

12.  [First unidentified speaker] Commander, 720 kg were not used. When you add
the sand, stones, and water, 720 kg does not fit in one cubic meter, which is
one meter by one meter by one meter. This is a physical problem.

13.  [Castro, interrupting] Where did the 720 kg go?

14.  [First unidentified speaker] Some of it went to...[changes thought] One of
the reasons is that enterprises lent cement to each other.  Consequently, such
loans were added to the concrete the enterprises were already using.  Other
enterprises were involved in other kinds of (?diversions). Others...[rephrases]
For example, the cement silos often--and this was something we had to discuss
in great depth with the materials industry...[rephrases] There have been times
when one silo with 15 tons has lost two tons because of the dampness that
occurs inside the silo.  You should know that MICONS allows 40 trips per silo
per year.  If only two tons are lost on each trip, that makes 80,000 tons
[figures as heard].  We have been able to reduce this to a minimum.

15.  [Castro] How many trucks per silo per year?

16.  [First unidentified speaker] 40,000.

17.  [Castro] How much was stolen?

18.  [First unidentified speaker] Well...[pauses]

19.  [Castro] You did not mean to say that it was stolen?

20.  [First unidentified speaker] Well, approximately 70,000 tons were lost in
this way.  That is what we have calculated.

21.  [Castro] Through theft?

22.  [First unidentified speaker] Through theft, well...[rephrases] We will not
say it is theft.  I would consider the cement that is taken from the projects
as theft.

23.  [Castro, interrupting] [Word indistinct] tremendous disorder.

24.  [First unidentified speaker] No, theft is what is carried off from the
projects.  Here, I think there was a lack of control.  It was caused by
indifference on the part of by those who received the cement, and they did not
measure or weigh it.  Right now we have set up scales throughout the country,
and it is now obligatory to weigh the cement.  Theft exists, Commander.  For
example, when we are building something and someone comes at night, they take
away four or five sacks from any building project.  It is also theft when a
loan is made and is not repaid.  And there was theft, there was diversion.

25.  [Castro] There was also waste, Viterbo [only first name given]?

26.  [First unidentified speaker] The waste resulted from the custom that was
introduced in the country of using the cement as a sealer.  The sealer
is...[rephrases] Once you finish with a machine, you make any size hole, then
pour concrete into it until the outer portion of the foundation has been
filled.  So, through a resolution, we stopped that practice.  Cement is not
meant for that.

27.  [Castro] The rubble was eliminated for...[pauses]

28.  [First unidentified speaker] We have been struggling with the rubble
[words indistinct]

29.  [Castro] Has the cyclopean concrete been eliminated?

30.  [First unidentified speaker] It has not been eliminated.

31.  [Castro] Was it eliminated at that time? Or did you stop using it?

32.  [First unidentified speaker] We stopped using it.  Why did we stop using
it?  Because unfortunately, part of the reason was the inconvenience involved,
as well as not wanting to handle the 25 or 30 cm stones and put them inside the
concrete mix.  This led to the reason for not this type of cement.  And now we
have been able to discuss and sign with the designers of the waterworks
first....[rephrases] We have already started with all the dams and all the
industrial projects that have large foundations for the use of the rubble. 
This year, with the rubble, the ministry may reach 250,000 cubic meters of
concrete.  Of this 250,000, we think that about 100,000 are cyclopean concrete,
which means a savings of 30,000 cubic meters of concrete.

33.  [Castro] What do you mean when you talk about reaching 250,000 cubic
meters--250,000 cubic meters of what?

34.  [First unidentified speaker] We will have 250,000 cubic meters of concrete
in the plan for dams for 1990.

35.  [Castro] Ah, exclusively for dams?

36.  [First unidentified speaker] Yes, for dams.  I am talking about dams for
the rubble.  We are now calculating the volume of concrete for the industries
where there are foundations.  For example, a foundation in Antillana de Acero
must have 8,000-10,000 cubic meters of concrete.  [Word indistinct] we are
fighting so that they will use the rubble in those foundations.

37.  [Castro] That gives you an idea of what was being wasted.

38.  [First unidentified speaker] That gives some idea.

39.  [Castro] That is incredible.

40.  [First unidentified speaker] And what could be done [words indistinct]?

41.  [Castro, interrupting] They were stealing it, they were loaning it, they
were giving it away.  It is impossible.  The people of Blas Roca [Calderio
Contingent] are using 380 kg of cement per cubic meter of concrete.  This is
almost half of that outrageous figure of 720 kg that was being used at one
time--an indication of the terrible system of management we had.

42.  [First unidentified speaker] The consumption indicator of 443 that MICONS
had last year in 1989 is an indicator that includes the cement used for
concrete and the cement used for mortar.

43.  [Castro] For mortar?

44.  [First unidentified speaker?] Yes. We have waged a strong fight to
eliminate this procedure. The cement must be measured for each activity that is
carried out at the building site.  This is the only thing that can tell us with
certainty what is being [words indistinct].  We cannot mix apples and oranges,
pears, or guavas.  To mix the cement that is used for one thing, the cement
that is used in the prefabricated units, and the cement that is used for mortar
is totally improper.

45.  [Castro] What news do you have on the use of cement?

46.  [First unidentified speaker] We have been in contact...[changes thought]
At the last meeting that the cement-saving committee held, Commander, the only
organizations that could report savings were the Army, the Ministry of the
Interior, and MICONS.  We have now begun very tough work on this issue. The
first thing we have to know is how much people are using.  We cannot continue
to say we use so many thousands of tons in millions of pesos. That is an
indicator of consumption for the nation's economy.

47.  [Pedro Ross Leal, chairman of the organizing committee for the 16th CTC
Congress] Consumption was in millions of pesos.  This was one of the aspects of
the system of management....

48.  [First unidentified speaker, interrupting] That was a mistake.

49.  [Ross] The use of cement was measured in millions of pesos of buildings. 
But there are buildings that use quite a lot of concrete, and there are
buildings that use less concrete.  And so some had extra cement, and possibly
others came up short.  Well, anything else?

50.  [First unidentified speaker] No, I simply wanted to repeat that the
leadership of the government should also evaluate what...[rephrases] I think it
should deduct this amount of cement from the builders in 1990; [words
indistinct] 1991 and 1992 it is not going to provide us with this.

51.  [Ross] The proposal has been made.

52.  [First unidentified speaker] In addition this is the only way that the
people really... [changes thought] This puts in tension [as heard] all the
forces with time, all the ideas; we can resolve this with the assets we have.

53.  [Ross] OK, we are going to pass this proposal you are making to the
Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers.  All right?  Do we agree? 
Well, let's vote on it.

54.  [passage omitted] [Second unidentified speaker] With four types of
tobacco, we lose four million pesos just in the purchase and selling of it. 
This has seriously affected the economic activity of our organization. We have
worked hard...[rephrases] We are working with the soil problem.  There are
enterprises that are in charge of working on this problem.  There are also
problems with the workers we mobilize.  We are working in 16 management units. 
We hope that the harvest in salute to the fourth party congress will partially
resolve the problem of the wrapper leaf [capa] in our country.  We have a good
example.  For the harvest in salute to the second party congress, we grew 11
percent of the wrapper leaf in 3,800 caballerias of tobacco that were planted
in the province.  For the harvest in salute to the third party congress-- which
was the second harvest for which we reached our goal--we grew seven percent of
the wrapper leaf.  The last harvest we completed--this the one for which we
received P17 million to solve the situation--we only grew three-tenths of a
percent of wrapper leaf.  This means that we exported 356 quintals of tobacco
and motivated the peasants with a lot of money.  At the moment, we are having
problems mobilizing the workers to work in agriculture.  We mobilize our force
of 12,000 for agricultural activities, state as well as private activities. 
However, the peasants want to be able to pay the workers that enter this field
at 20 cents per tobacco unit.  The state can only logically pay eight cents. 
This means that the price laws have caused problems for the tobacco activity in
the province.

55.  [Pedro Ross] You are talking about the price resolution?

56.  [Second unidentified speaker] Yes, for prices...

57.  [Ross, interrupting] The tobacco price was increased to improve the
quality of the wrapper leaf, which is the main problem the tobacco industry
workers complain about.  When there is not enough raw material, it affects the
work and investment of the tobacco worker.

58.  [Second unidentified speaker] That is right.

59.  [Ross] Explain why you said this was affected.

60.  [Second unidentified speaker] You see, first of all, the price law for
fine tobacco, which is the one that is used for export...[changes thought] The
price law deals with quintals.  We can tell you that with the foot-pound of the
sol de vega fine tobacco, we lose P19 in the purchase and selling of it.  We
buy this tobacco at P280 and sell it at 238; we lose P42 right there with the
purchase and selling of it.  However, there is another problem.  It is more
beneficial for the peasant to obtain ordinary tobacco, which weighs more than
the fine tobacco which is exported. Since we deal with quintals, the law
protects us in that.  I think this is one of the problems we must analyze,
examine.  We know work is being done in this.  However, a prompt response is
necessary to attain the levels of wrapper leaf we need.

61.  [Castro] What you are addressing is an important problem. It is a price
system that has not encouraged the quality, but rather the quantity of tobacco.

62.  [Second unidentified speaker] That is right, Commander.

63.  [Castro] However, we must have here the delegate representing agriculture. 
We must have the people who invented or proposed that price system.  We must
also have the peasants.  I imagine they are here, and we should listen to their
opinions.  We should see if they did a good job in analyzing the consequences
of the implementation that price system would have on the economy, or on the
quality of the tobacco.

64.  [Ross] Comrade Carlos Perez, agriculture minister.

65.  [Perez] Commander, the information the comrade has...[rephrases] We
believe some of his concerns are justified. However, in the case of the covered
tobacco, first of all, the price system is not based on quantity, but on
quality.  The purpose of the price increase was to have the price of the
tobacco be the same as the cost.  That is to say we wanted to increase the cost
[as heard], and then have additional increases based on quality. In Pinar del
Rio Province, we have had to [word indistinct].  This is because we did not
grow wrapper leaf for export, so the peasants did not do too well.

66.  We have had to discuss with the comrades of the bank and with the party
comrades the need to plant the wrapper leaf again.  Some of them did not want
to plant it because the price mechanism that is based on quality and not
quantity did not encourage them to grow it.  Generally speaking, the other
price mechanism also provides for a price increase based on quality and
quantity.  This has allowed Pinar del Rio, for example, which did not plant the
normal 5,000 caballerias of tobacco, to have one of the highest harvests in the
country.  We had 989,000 quintals [rephrases and corrects himself] That is to
say, we had 889,000 quintals.  This means that aside the fact that in certain
areas where there could be problems like the comrade mentioned-- which we could
review and analyze--generally speaking, the price policy is based on quantity,
but it is especially based on quality.  This is especially true in the case of
the wrapper leaf.  They have had a series of problems.

67.  The comrade is correctly reporting all the work that the Pinar del Rio
workers are doing to recover the areas and improve the quality.  That is why
Pinar del Rio today is one of the vanguard provinces in the production of
smoking tobacco.  The province substituted a series of components that were
used in the soil for the covered tobacco to improve it.  Very careful, serious,
and responsible work is being done to improve the quality of tobacco there.

68.  [Castro] Is it more beneficial to plant this tobacco over the other one?

69.  [Perez] Commander, it is more beneficial if the quality is attained.  It
is more beneficial if they attain the quality for exporting it, which is the
principle on which the price policy is based.

70.  [Castro] However, the comrade was saying that better quality had been
attained in previous years, but that now a certain percentage of good quality
was low.  Why was that?

71.  [Perez] Commander, a study was made because there are weather factors
which affect this, as well as the work of the men. For example, here in Havana
we had better results.  This year, they grew 10-12 percent of wrapper leaf for
export.  However, in Pinar del Rio during the last two or three years, they
have not been able to grow it.  The university is doing a study.  We have
increased the production of smoking tobacco.  We have increased fertilizer.  We
have controlled the weeds.  We have done all the work that is necessary to grow
the wrapper leaf for export.

72.  [Third unidentified speaker] If the peasants and the cooperative worker
grow the needed level of wrapper leaf, they will be in good shape with the
prices they are given. The cooperatives...[rephrases] Like Carlos Perez said,
we have had to go there often to discuss with them the need to plant the
wrapper leaf tobacco.  They do not want to plant it.

73.  [Castro] Why not?

74.  [Third unidentified speaker] It is not beneficial to them.  It is not
useful to them.

75.  [Castro] Why not?

76.  [Third unidentified speaker] Because they cannot get the quality the price

77.  [Third unidentified speaker] Well, like Carlos said, we believe there are
some factors that affect this. The temperature for the covered tobacco is a
factor.  Commander, I think that the main thing is the soil.  The soil has been
deteriorating for several years.  Like Carlos has said, I think they have done
a very efficient job with the university committee that has been created.  We
discussed with the peasants that each one of the activities the committee
proposed should be carried out. We and the Ministry of Agriculture are
systematically checking those activities.  They even...[rephrases] When we
discussed that it was necessary for the economy of the country to plant the
covered tobacco, they proposed to remove the covered tobacco and plant the
sun-dried tobacco instead, because that is what is beneficial to them.  This is
convenient to them because even though the sun-dried tobacco demands
quality...[rephrases] The sun-dried tobacco growers have gotten better quality.

78.  The peasants and the state, in the case of Pinar del Rio, have not been
able to grow the wrapper leaf. We are doing everything the committee
recommended.  We are working very hard to improve the soil.  My opinion is that
if we improve the soil as is required and like the committee told us to do, I
think we should be able to grow the wrapper leaf the country requires, unless
we have a difficult year with the temperature.

79.  [passage omitted] [Castro] If we scare him off, he would never return
again.  The country would be giving up one of its most important economic
resources.  We are not an oil-producing country, but we do have some marvelous
beaches.  We have air, we have clean water. [Words indistinct] are thrown in
the Mediterranean.  The waste from 140,000 factories in Europe runs into the
Mediterranean.  We have a tremendous resource and not a resource that [word
indistinct].  We are connecting all the keys. We will exploit Cayo Largo, Cayo
Coco, Cayo Sabinal, Cayos Romanos, Santa Cruz, all those places.  That is, it
is not going to be a tourism of prostitution, or gambling, but healthy tourism.

80.  I think that if all our potential is developed, it should provide jobs for
hundreds of thousands of workers.  When it is completely developed, it should
provide income for billions.  This is a type of work that is not as rough as
other work our people have to do to live.  They must be well-trained people. 
There must be...[changes thought] In addition, we start from the fact that no
other country in the Caribbean or the Third World has the levels of training
and education that our people have.  In practically all those hotels, people
who have completed a minimum of 12 years of school are going to work.  I am
referring to the new hotels, mainly those hotels that are joint ventures.  The
workers will have a minimum of 12 years of school, and there will be many
university graduates.  The wages will be high, especially for those who are
working in joint venture hotels.  All are going to have a good income.  And
this will also depend...[changes thought] Perhaps some day they will be equal.