UITBB’s Contribution to the UN for the Universal Periodic Review (Fourth Cycle) on CUBA

UITBB’s Contribution for the Universal Periodic Review (Fourth Cycle) on CUBA

The Trades Union International of Workers of the Building, Wood and Building Materials
Industries – UITBB was founded in 1949 in Milan, Italy and it is one of the main international trade
unions, representing workers from the building industry, defending trade union rights, trying to
improve the working and living conditions of the workers on a global scale. UITBB participates in
various national committees in the framework of the international dialogue on labor and social
issues, such as the International Labor Organisation.
For decades, in the context of international solidarity and cooperation with other trade union
organisations, UITBB has a member organisation in Cuba (Sindicato Nacional de los Trabajadores
de la Construccion – SNTC), has organized many meetings, activities and visits in Cuba, witnessing
first-hand the practices and the value that Cuba attaches to labour and human rights.
UITBB respectfully addresses the members of the Council in order to give its testimony on the
achievements of Cuba on the issue of labour rights, in the hope that they will be taken into
consideration in the periodic review of this Council.
Workers’ rights regarding working hours and vacations in Cuba.
The Constitution of the Republic of Cuba in its first article establishes that Cuba is a State of law
and social justice. Likewise, Title V, Chapter II, Article 64 recognizes the right to work. Law 116/13
Labor Code of Cuba and Law 105/09 on Social Security are the result of a broad process of popular
consultation, the latter recognized as a good practice by the ILO in the Report VI Social Dialogue,
a recurring discussion in the framework of the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair
Globalization presented at the 102nd Session of the International Labor Conference in 2013.
Article 2 of the Labor Code regulates the general principles governing labor law, among them
being: equality of work, equal pay, prohibition of child labor, right to daily and weekly rest and
paid annual vacation, right to social security, occupational safety and health, etc.
The working day in Cuba requires a minimum of eight hours a day for at least five days a week
(Article 87 of the Labor Code). The weekly workday may be established between forty and fortyfour hours.
What is more, reduced working hours are established with the payment of a full day’s salary for
workers who are exposed to prolonged exposure to conditions that may affect their health; the
same procedure is applied to young people aged fifteen and sixteen who are authorized to work.
The worker is entitled to a minimum weekly rest of twenty-four consecutive hours. Likewise,
he/she is entitled to the enjoyment of one month of paid annual vacation for every eleven months
of effective work. This may be granted for thirty, twenty, fifteen, ten or seven days (Article 101 of
Law 116/13).
Retirement age in Cuba
The average working age in Cuba is 45 years and the age pension is classified as ordinary and
Ordinary pension is granted at the age of 60 years or older for women and 65 years of age or older
for men and having rendered no less than 30 years of service.
Extraordinary pension is granted at the age of 60 years or older for women and 65 years of age or
older for men and having rendered no less than 20 years of service.
The amount of the age pension is determined on the average annual salary resulting from the
highest salaries earned by the worker during five calendar years, selected from the last fifteen
calendar years, prior to the application for the benefit.
Old age pensioners who are 60 years of age or older for women and 65 years of age or older for
men and who can prove 30 years of services rendered, have the option to return to paid work and
earn the pension and the salary of the position they hold, i.e., both salaries.
Social benefits
Article 8 of the Social Security Law 105 regulates the benefits to which workers are entitled and
they are classified as follows:
a) benefits in services, b) benefits in kind, c) monetary benefits.
Service benefits include medical, stomatological and hospital care, physical, psychological and
occupational rehabilitation, etc.
Benefits in kind are medicines provided while the patient is hospitalized, to pregnant women,
orthopedic devices, prostheses, etc.
Monetary benefits are age pension, subsidy for illness or accident, pension for total or partial
disability, pension for death of the worker, pensioner, maternity of the worker, social assistance.
Health and safety and favorable conditions at work.
Safety and health at work is guaranteed for the workers, endorsed in Chapter XI of Law 116/13
Labor Code in such a way, that the employer is obliged to implement measures to ensure safe and
hygienic work, to control, investigate and inform the corresponding authorities of occupational
accidents and other similar accidents.
The union organization is part, in its own right, of the commissions created for the investigation
of accidents. The union organization also has the duty to carry out inspections and for this purpose
appoints and certifies union inspectors.
The Labor Code establishes that the labor inspection controls compliance with labor and social
security legislation and provides or applies the legally established measures.
The worker who has an accident or contracts an occupational disease is entitled to benefits in
services, monetary or in kind (Law 105/09).
Sickness or accident benefits are paid when the worker suffers a common or professional illness
or suffers a common or work-related accident that temporarily incapacitates him/her for work.
The situation cannot be self-inflicted or caused by a violation of the legal order of the country.
During the period of incapacity, the sick or injured worker is granted the equivalent of the average
salary as follows: 50% in the case of illness of common origin and if hospitalized and 60% if there
is no hospitalization.
In the case of occupational disease or accident if hospitalized the amount rises to 70% and if there
is no hospitalization, 80%.
Finally, we would like to underline that we should take into consideration the deplorable
commercial, financial and economic blockade imposed by the United States government against
Cuba. We support the Cuban people and their right to determine their future without foreign
interference. We believe that Cuba’s social and political system respects human rights and
freedom, while the ongoing changes that are taking place in its economy and society demonstrate
a commitment to establishing even more rights and freedoms for its people, which is something
the international community should also support and encourage.
Michalis Papanikolaou
UITBB General Secretary