Lack of labor discipline, a problem that needs solving
Author: Lourdes Perez Navarro
January 10, 2009 0:40:08 CDT
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
A little over two years ago, the Resolution 188 of 2006, issued by the Minister of Labor and Social Security, came into effect. Consequently, institutions created or updated their internal disciplinary regulations. The aim was to strengthen labor discipline, educate the workers and deal with the lack of discipline and illegalities present in work places.
The draft [of this Resolution] was discussed and analyzed in meetings with workers before its approval, because it establishes rules and obligations at the workplace. Obligations include punctuality, meeting schedules, not leaving the workplace during working hours without permission of the supervisor, etc. It also states prohibitions like, not punching the card or signing the attendance record of another employee, and serious offenses, such as repeated absences, unjustified unpunctuality, and disregarding warnings and remonstrances.
According to Resolution 188, administrations are obliged to disclose and permanently explain to the workers the internal disciplinary regulations. Workers must obey regulations, or be subject to different disciplinary sanctions, depending on the gravity of the infraction.
It is known that lack of labor discipline slows production rates, erodes service quality and efficiency, and damages the country’s economy. It also dissatisfies the population. For example, if a machine operator doesn’t arrive on time, he interrupts or reduces that day’s production. If a lab technician is absent from work, a number of clinical trials can no longer be made.
These things are happening now. Specialists of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security monitored 2 042 companies and budgeted units during May-June 2008. The study showed that 60% of the workers did not comply with their working day.
They recorded 26 622 violations of labor discipline. Some of them were: late arrivals (46%), taking more than the allotted time for recess and eating (19%), working less than the stipulated working hours(13%), leaving before closing time(10% ) performing other unauthorized activities (5%), and leaving the workplace without proper authorization (4%).
Are a lot of financial and material resources needed to control and enforce discipline and efficient performance during the working day in each workplace? Or do we need more control, supervision and organization at the workplace?
Local administrations and directors are responsible for ongoing observation and control of how their workers comply with their obligations and abide by the rules established. Higher instances must be more demanding.
Why are internal disciplinary regulations put away in a drawer? On the contrary, they should be displayed on the workplace bulletin board, so all workers can see them. The Boards of Directors should periodically discuss the results of internal control checks.
Lack of labor discipline is not only personal. Certainly, those who violate discipline have names, and are liable to disciplinary actions that affect their pocket, their prestige or, in more serious cases, cost them their jobs.
But, this is not the only consequence. It damages the workers collective image, hinders completing economic plans, and affects the quality and efficiency of service. That is why labor discipline should be discussed in workers assemblies, at least once each quarter. This can not continue to be a problem.