THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Cuba has begun the process of laying-off a tenth of its state workforce in a drive to push employees into small businesses that could mark the beginning of the end of the 50-year communist experiment on the island.
The state labour union announced this week that the first of some 500,000 employees could expect to receive "pink slips" immediately, effectively terminating their employment in the public sector where, until now, almost 90 per cent of Cuba's workforce have been employed.
The lay-offs will begin in the ministries of agriculture, sugar, construction, health and tourism, according to Salvador Valdes, the leader of the Workers' Central Union of Cuba (CTC). Workers, who on average earn a monthly wage of $20 (£13), were told to expect compensation of one month's salary for every ten years on the job.
Committees have been set up in each workplace to draw up the list of those jobs to be cut, the CTC said – a process that "will be free of favouritism, nepotism and paternalism". >>> Fiona Govan, Madrid | Wednesday, January 05, 2011