By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES — Cubans working for firms with foreign capital on the island received a bucket of cold water Tuesday when a new resolution published in the official Gazette fixes their salaries at only 8% of what the joint venture or foreign companies must pay the government in hard currency for their services.
The announcement published by Granma daily quotes Vice-minister of Labor and Social Security, Zamira Marín Triana, as saying the new wage involves a “significant increase” for workers.
Ever since the government announced in October that prospective employees of foreign companies at the Mariel Special Development Zone would be receiving nearly 40% of their real wages before taxes, workers of companies operating with foreign capital on the rest of the island were expecting to receive a higher cut of the wage paid by their employers to the State.
It is the custom in Cuba that if a foreign firm wants its employees to be productive they must pay them an additional amount of hard currency under the table, since the amount they officially receive after the government takes the lion’s share is not a living wage.