Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

06 de Marzo del 2000

TOBACCO FACTORIES IN VILLA CLARA AT A STANDSTILL. By Juan Antonio Soto, Cuba Free Press.

Placetas.- The tobacco factories of the region have completely closed their doors and sent the workers home with 60 percent of their salaries.

Among the seven cigar factories in the province an average of 3,500 workers have been left without work and will not return until August. This closing was caused by a lack of wrapper leaves which as we have been reporting have been scarce.

The absence of the raw material appears to be a product of the heavy rains in September and October last year.

The average wage is 250 pesos a month and the workers usually also receive a bonus of $8 for every 100 pesos they earn. They will not receive the dollars since those come from foreign exchange which the state will not receive because of not selling cigars abroad.

The export lines involved in the closing are Cervantes, Romeo and Julieta, La Mareva and others.

The cigar workers live in these cities and towns: Falcón, Placetas, Villa Clara, Ranchuelo, Manicaragua, Camajuaní and Báez.

To get a clearer idea of the magnitude of this problem, it is enough to note that Placetas has 70,000 inhabitants and Báez around 5,000. These workers’ being without work can become a matter of unsuspected magnitude and even catastrophic not only for the families but for the economy of the region and the nation.

Juan Antonio Soto, Cuba Free Press.


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