Cuba: Self Employed Workers Unionised

News from Cuba | Saturday, 25 February 2012

from Prensa Latina

More than 80 percent of the so-called "self-employed workers" in Cuba, now nearly 360,000 Cuban citizens, are included in a trade union to represent them, according to data published here Friday.

At the end of last year, there were 5,700 trade union committees gathering self-employed workers, especially those who give their services in areas such as selling food, transportation of passengers and renting homes or rooms.

Cuban Workers Central Office (CTC) secretary general Salvador Valdes said the adaptation of the process to the private sectorâ�Ö s real characteristics constitutes a challenge for the organization.

"For us, an affiliate is an affiliate. There is no difference if he works for the state or not. The most important thing, is to consolidate trade union membership," said Valdes, mentioned by Cuban newspaper Granma Friday.

Valdes estimated the incorporation to trade unions supplies order, discipline and institutionalizatio n, fulfilment of the taxes and conscience of their duties before the Cuban society.

Some self-employed workers consulted by Granma considered there is a need to gather all in trade unions, which represent their interests, constitute a space to communicate and analyze any existing problem, and consolidate the commitment with the Cuban Revolution.

In the last months, governmental facilities stimulating the non-governmental employment jobs have been put into practice.

These non-governmental jobs are called to give an important contribution to the economic update of the country promoted by the guidelines of the 6th Congress of the Communist Party.

Widening of the authorized activities, adaptations to tax current system, authorization to rent rooms and places and the steps to create a wholesale market, are among the measures to take.

Starting from such scenery, the amount of self-employed workers in Cuba increased from 175,000 in October 2010, to more than 350,000.

Another action to strengthen the contribution of the private sector to services and the increase of productiveness is the start of training courses.

They have already started with 200 courses for bookkeepers, collectors and payers, courses in tax topics and simplified accounting.

Joaquin Infante, vice-president of the National Association of Economists and Accountants (ANEC) and winner of the National Economy Award in 2000, said that the small business owners will have the chance to get closer to Business Administration, financing, marketing and other courses.

"The updating of our economic model means to promote equality of rights and chances, the increase of productiveness, to consolidate the solidness of Cuban socialism," he concluded.

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