Cuba plans to lay off more than half a million people from public sector in the expectation that they will move into private businesses, Cuba’s labour federation said on Monday.
Over the past several months, President Raúl Castro has given warnings that Cuba’s economy needs a radical overhaul, beginning with its workers.
With as many as one million excess employees on the state payroll, he has said, the government is supporting a bloated bureaucracy that has long sheltered a huge swath of the nation’s workers.
“We have to erase forever the notion that Cuba is the only country in the world where one can live without working,” he told the assembly last month.
Lately Fidel Castro has often pledged to make Cuba’s centralised economy more efficient. The government has loosened restrictions on cellphones and other electronics, and created a few areas for private business.