About Leaders and Responsibilities / Cuban Law Association, Lic. Rodrigo Chavez

Lic. Rodrigo Chávez

In the newspaper Granma, an article published with the title “About leaders and responsibilities”, by Félix López, makes it clear that a well-known old Cuban proverb “the rope breaks at the weakest point” would be ideal for this article.

How many of us who have always been subordinates have carried the blame for something which we had nothing to do with? And I say subordinate because whenever we have a superior, we are inevitably subordinate.

Say to yourself crime, contravention or indiscipline, they categorise and describe actions in this way because they are gathered up in legal regulations, but what’s for sure is that as a general rule, when regulations go unobserved, and are breached, usually the weight of the law falls on or breaks the weakest point: the “subordinate”.

Is it the workers who designate or choose their bosses? That’s as untrue as the belief that in the Management Board of any Employment Centre, the chief feels he is subject to the same conditions as his employees. Going to any Management Council is like being in the presence of a contract of adhesion “take it or leave it” – and to tell you the truth, we can understand even better than the people who work there that the chief has his entourage, incapable of or prevented from disagreeing with the decision of the supremo, except in rare circumstances, which are always viewed with disapproval and in terms of whingeing, trouble-making or out to make problems.

What can you say when a chief takes disciplinary measures against a subordinate and the latter complains to the Employment Law Authority (OJLB)? It would be a bit awkward if the worker were to leave victorious after the confrontation, because both he and the OJLB are employees and who would think of going against the wishes of the chief they will ask  themselves. “Who will guarantee my employment if we let the worker win?” Because although the regulations say that the Authority has to comply with the law when carrying out its functions, when the function of delivering justice gets to the decision, will they continue being employed?

When you get to a work location trying to work and experiencing difficulties, you will find out who is the Chief, Manager, Director, Administator… perhaps you will be lucky enough to see him and hear him from a distance at a meeting, but you also learn that this individual has been shifted out … how is this person supposed to know about the activities he has been asked to run? How are things going to operate? There are lots of unanswered questions, and anybody who is able to answer them does not do so.

Translated by GH

23 March 2013