Cuba to lay off 1 Million Government Workers

Cuba to lay off 1 Million Government Workers

Havana : Cuba | Sep 14, 2010 at 3:17 PM PDT
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Havana, Cuban; Restructuring a 50 year old state controlled economy is going to take streamlining, layoffs and a new order of command. In contemplating the infrastructure of the Cuban economy, the Cuban Labor Federation has announced that about 1 million government workers will lose their jobs, with 500,000 becoming unemployed by March.

"Our state cannot and should not continue maintaining companies, productive entities, services and budgeted sectors with bloated payrolls and losses that hurt the economy," the confederation said in a statement.

"Job options will be increased and broadened with new forms of non-state employment, among them leasing land, co-operatives, and self-employment, absorbing hundreds of thousands of workers in the coming years," the statement added.

The restructuring of the Cuban economy is considered the largest private sector shift since the 1959 Cuban revolution. The communist government currently employs approximately 85% of the official work force or 5.1 million people.

As for now, only workers engaged in "indispensable" areas such as farming, construction, industry, law enforcement and education will be retained by the state.

President Raul Castro, who became Cuba’s new leader after his brother, an ailing Fidel Castro, stepped down in 2006, declared that, "We have to end forever the notion that Cuba is the only country in the world where you can live without working."

What happens to the newly unemployed 5.1 million people as they work towards a more capitalistic economy? No one knows for sure.

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Cuba's iconic former leader Fidel Castro
Cuba's iconic former leader Fidel Castro
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