Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cuba Scraps Equal Pay

One story this month that seems have slipped quietly under many lefties' radar is that Cuba has scrapped its 'equal pay' system and brought in performance-related pay.

Deputy labour minister Carlos Mateu Pereira said that the new policy would enable Cuba to conform to “the socialist principle of distribution, wherein each person receives according to his or her contribution, that is: pay for quantity and quality.” Oddly, I thought that the relevant 'socialist principle' here was 'from each according to ability, to each according to need'. Perhaps I should not have opposed my employer bringing in a performance-related bonus in our most recent pay deal after all.

The 'equal pay' rule probably meant, in practice, equally low pay, and I doubt there was ever genuine income equality between a factory worker and a member of the Castro family.

But this latest development must surely underline that the left and the labour movement should take a more critical attitude to the Cuban regime, and should direct its solidarity to Cuban workers rather than to their rulers.

We oppose policies such as performance-related pay in Britain, so why support or remain silent about it in Cuba?

Labels: ,