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In Cuba, the more you work, the more you'll earn

June 12, 2008 |  8:47 am

Raul_castro "In what some experts call Raúl Castro's boldest break yet from socialism, Cuban state companies have until August to overhaul their salary structures to one that pays hard workers more than slackers, the government newspaper reported Wednesday." Here's the rest of the Miami Herald's account.

"No more will all Cuban workers doing the same job receive the same pay. Now people who do more will get more -- and those who offer quality service will be rewarded, the vice minister of labor, Carlos Mateu, told Granma, the country's Communist Party newspaper."

'' 'I think of all the changes made so far, this one is the most important,'' said Lizette Fernández, a former dissident who campaigned for a change in Cuba's dual currency system until she moved to Hialeah [Fla.] last year."

" 'If you worked in an office in Cuba, you often got paid the same as the person who cleaned the office. Slow and lazy people got the same or even more, because the bosses got their jobs through political connections and didn't do any work.' ''

"Realistically, she said, the change could mean as little as 50 cents in a nation where many people make as little as $15 a month."

'' 'Fifty cents may not sound like a lot, but at the end of the month, it's the difference between being able to buy one bar of soap and two bars of soap,' she said. 'This change offers hope that they will increase salaries even more.' "

Photo: The wage change is part of a series of changes Raul Castro has made since taking office Feb. 24. Credit: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images file photo

-- Reed Johnson in Mexico City

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