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Contracts, the documents that bind the construction trades to the State, have yet to become a standard business practice, Granma said in an article published Saturday.

"Why hasn't the contract become a tool of labor?" the newspaper asked, reviving a 1999 statement by Raúl Castro that denounced the allocation of construction jobs via the good-old-boy network, with only a handshake and a promise.

At the recently ended 10th Congress of the Construction Workers Union in Havana, leaders of the sector agreed that henceforth "none of the works initiated [between 2011 and 2015] may do away with contracts" and that such documents must provide for "severe penalties consistent with the magnitude of any nonfeasance."

Comandante Ramiro Valdés Menéndez, vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, who presided over the gathering, said that "if the parameters set for the execution [of jobs] are modified or altered without justifiable reasons, we shall incur in losses, and the country cannot continue to absorb such excesses."

Union leaders "must be aware of the tasks they need to accomplish. We cannot allow that – despite the efforts made and the measures taken by management and the labor units – a high degree of impunity, illegality and manifestations of corruption exist in the [construction] sector," Valdés was quoted as saying.

"In the workplaces, our brigades and our works, we see a lack of combativeness against these misdeeds. There is not a forceful rejection of these conducts, which are incompatible with socialist society. This is an unacceptable situation," Valdés said.

According to Granma, "the current process of rectification being initiated in the sector must lead to the incorporation of methods of labor by builders that will allow the words expressed in this Congress to become concrete actions in the work sites."

The institutionalization of contracts appears to be a good starting point.

By: Renato Pérez Pizarro

Source: The Miami Herald  

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