Employees Win Control Of Barber Shops
Cuba is turning over hundreds of state-run barber shops and beauty salons to employees in what appears to be the start of a long-expected revamping of state retail services by President Raul Castro, Reuters reported April 12.
The measure marks the first time state-run, retail-level establishments have been handed over to workers since nationalization in 1968.
Barbers and hair dressers in telephone interviews from a number of cities during the weekend said they would now rent the space where they work and pay taxes instead of receiving a monthly wage.
Those employees who do not wish to rent are being offered other jobs or retirement.
Cuba and North Korea are the world’s only remaining Soviet-style command economies in which the state controls over 90% of economic activity. Other communist countries such as China and Vietnam have long since liberalized retail trade, servies and small business.
The measure—subject to adjustment and local conditions—sets a monthly fee per person base on 15% of the average revenue generated by haircutting and styling in each area.
They will be able to charge whatever the market will bear and expect to make good money for Cuba, where the average monthly was is 420 pesos, or the equivalent of $20.
Daisy, a hairdresser in Guantanamo province, said under the old system the state took in 4,920 pesos per month per hairdresser. Now she will pay the government 738 pesos per month and keep any earnings above that.
In Santiago de Cuba the monthly fee is 1,008 pesos and 1,292 in the city of Holguin.
“You will have to work very hard to earn a good living but I like the idea,” said Yordanka, 25, a hair stylist in Holguin.
Barbers and manicurists will pay less per month. In Guantanamo, barbers will give the government 604 pesos and manicurists will pay 280 pesos. The new policy, which began this month and now applies to beauty parlors and barber shops with three or fewer seats, nor has the state-run media mentioned.