Economic Reforms

Food and agriculture

 

The Role Unions in Cuba

In a socialist democracy such as Cuba, equality and solidarity are guiding principles in any social or economic policy making. This is the opposite of the case in most capitalist societies where inequality and divisiveness are actually promoted in order to keep the corporate elite in power. 

An example often cited  is the policy of the Cuban government to contract out workers to joint-ventures with foreign capitalists. Critics bemoan the fact that workers get only fraction of what is paid to the government for their labour and cannot negotiate directly with the foreign firm. Again, this policy seeks to minimize any unfair advantage that workers in these enterprises may have over those working in other sectors of the economy. It seeks to maintain social equality and solidarity. It also seeks to maximize the benefit to Cuban society as a whole, as the hard-currency income is used to subsidize health care, education and other social programs.

Seductive and misleading appeals for so-called independent unions, etc. often do not take into account Cuba's unique social and economic system. Rather than, for example, bargaining independently in smaller groups and in competition with one another, Cuban workers have chosen a unified, nationwide approach that promotes social unity and prosperity for all. This, it seems to me, is no less democratic than the fragmented and socially divisive approach to trade unions favoured by many capitalist regimes.

Some relevant notes and links:

 

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