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Last post 3 weeks ago by smokestaxx. 27 replies replies.
Cigar rollers salary
shaun341 Offline
#1 Posted:
Joined: 08-02-2012
Posts: 8,036
I have thought about this before but for some reason it was really on my mind this morning. I was reading the average Cuban cigar roller makes $20 a month but can make more with bonuses for quality and amount of cigars rolled. I suppose it is like that in every country that we get our cigars from since they are not developed countries. Does it ever make you wonder if we are contributing to a sweatshop type business? Also, if the labor is next to nothing where does the enormous profit margin go, I mean I pay hundreds of dollars for what would take an average roller a quarter of the day to roll. I don't plan on never buying cigars again but some aspects of it seem really disgusting to me.
dstieger Offline
#2 Posted:
Joined: 06-22-2007
Posts: 9,556
Socialism, baby.
When we get nationalized free health care here, you'll be happy with your $30/month
DrafterX Offline
#3 Posted:
Joined: 10-18-2005
Posts: 87,357
I never got my Obama-phone damnit..!! Mad
Ewok126 Offline
#4 Posted:
Joined: 06-25-2017
Posts: 4,112
DrafterX wrote:
I never got my Obama-phone damnit..!! Mad



They sent your Obamy phone to the dude down the street that is driving the Escalade pulling 2 4wheelers and a Seadoo behind it.

Oh he called the other day and said to tell you Hey, and thank you.
deadeyedick Offline
#5 Posted:
Joined: 03-13-2003
Posts: 9,777
That $20/month sure sounds low but as far as sweat shop conditions I have not seen it. Maybe the pics are staged but all I have seen are orderly, play music or have an orator for the rollers, etc.
dstieger Offline
#6 Posted:
Joined: 06-22-2007
Posts: 9,556
Define sweatshop.

Are the workers enslaved? Are working conditions horrid? Are they forced to work 18 hours a day?

If the point is simply compensation, then what is the pay for other 'manual' labor in those areas of Cuba? Is it comparable? Gather some facts before you waste any outrage. Maybe you have, but I don't see the reason to be upset yet. Free healthcare, free education, subsidized housing, food, and a host of other stuff that the government takes care of. What is the cost of living? I strongly suspect that instead of being suppressed by the industry, they are simply victims of their government....no different than any other laborer in Cuba. Our government has imposed embargoes for a reason. Therefore, our feds have already tried to get you to avoid smoking Cuban cigars. Ironic that our government is controlling you so that maybe the Cuban government will control Cubans less?

By the way, I'm enjoying an extremely well-rolled PSD4 as I type this....I'll tip the roller if I see her
ZRX1200 Offline
#7 Posted:
Joined: 07-08-2007
Posts: 48,594
Rolling is a small part of the cost of producing a cigar compared to farming and preparing the tobacco.

Is this $20 American dollars? $20 pesos?
Thunder.Gerbil Offline
#8 Posted:
Joined: 11-02-2006
Posts: 120,227
ZRX1200 wrote:
Rolling is a small part of the cost of producing a cigar compared to farming and preparing the tobacco.


Yup. And add in storage and transport for more big numbers.

Distributors also place significant markups on the product.

danmdevries Offline
#9 Posted:
Joined: 02-11-2014
Posts: 9,854
There are many, many hands involved in cigar production.

The rollers are only one.

I'd imagine their salary is in line or better then the dudes chopping the leaves in the fields. At least the working conditions are a bit better than being in the fields.

DrafterX Offline
#10 Posted:
Joined: 10-18-2005
Posts: 87,357
I blame SteveR... Mellow
Salmoneye Offline
#11 Posted:
Joined: 01-18-2011
Posts: 142
I blame Canada...
rfenst Offline
#12 Posted:
Joined: 06-23-2007
Posts: 29,131
deadeyedick wrote:
That $20/month sure sounds low but as far as sweat shop conditions I have not seen it. Maybe the pics are staged but all I have seen are orderly, play music or have an orator for the rollers, etc.

Same for me.
DrafterX Offline
#13 Posted:
Joined: 10-18-2005
Posts: 87,357
Reminds me of somethin my MIL said the other day about the polar bears... She saw a pic of an old sick polar bear and was convinced they were all in that condition because of global warming... I was nice...Mellow
ZRX1200 Offline
#14 Posted:
Joined: 07-08-2007
Posts: 48,594
Drafter, have you seen her tits?
DrafterX Offline
#15 Posted:
Joined: 10-18-2005
Posts: 87,357
No way man... Not talking
shaun341 Offline
#16 Posted:
Joined: 08-02-2012
Posts: 8,036
Maybe sweatshop is not the right term, I intended to mean that the wages are insufficient for a product that we buy and many U.S. citizens are making a mint from (label owners). I would say working conditions are also not up to standards that we would accept here as well.

I know the argument that many other aspects are to be taken into account when making a cigar, but if I can buy a pound of plums for $1.29 I would imagine that farming, distribution, and storage would not take much capital as well, especially in the countries that these cigars come from.

I would be willing to bet that the cigar itself (lets say the MB3 for instance that we get for $3.50) would cost pennies on the dollar to produce. Not sure of the answer but it just feels wrong to me and sometimes weighs on my mind.
KingoftheCove Offline
#17 Posted:
Joined: 10-08-2011
Posts: 4,954
Pennies on the dollar?
How many pennies? 3? 5? 12, 18.... ??
Macro economics is too complicated for me.
Cigars, compared to plums, or probably most any other organic product, even wine, is a complicated product to bring to market, meaning, your doorstep, or your shpo.
In almost any line of product creation, there are those who work the most, for the least.........it’s always been that way, and is likely to stay that way.

A few years back, I was in a Dollar Tree store, and I bought a hammer, for a dollar?!
Yeah, it’s Chinese, but it drives a nail just fine.
A hammer...........for a dollar.....wtf........now THERE is some weird economics.
KingoftheCove Offline
#18 Posted:
Joined: 10-08-2011
Posts: 4,954
Delayed double post.........my bad........I think???
DrafterX Offline
#19 Posted:
Joined: 10-18-2005
Posts: 87,357
Inferior steel...one of these days the hammer will shatter and send an inferior steel shard Ito your eye... Mellow
Sunoverbeach Online
#20 Posted:
Joined: 08-11-2017
Posts: 580
I don't recall where but remember reading that labels and boxes makes up a good chunk of retail cost too. Think it estimated like 40%? Going completely off memory. Don't trust me
madspackler Offline
#21 Posted:
Joined: 03-07-2000
Posts: 3,178
Back in the mid-1980’s we were working on a bridge project in New Orleans that was a joint venture with Hyundai and Harris steel (NJ). Hyundai furnished the steel for the bridges from their plant in Korea. At that time they were furnishing their workers in Korea with housing and chits for food from their company stores along with $5 per day. Their was some remedial work to the steel finish due to the trip overseas on the decks of their ships. They were amazed that the US workers were paid $20 per hour to perform the repair work. In Korea they are a revered company to this day.
GhettoNigFabulous Offline
#22 Posted:
Joined: 02-19-2018
Posts: 198
Keep Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ rollin”....
Satchmo218 Offline
#23 Posted:
Joined: 02-07-2019
Posts: 35
I was recently down in the Dominican and took a tour of Zemis Cigar factory. After observing and talking to the employees, it seemed to be a sought after place to work. Sylvain the owner seemed to know the names of every employee.
gummy jones Offline
#24 Posted:
Joined: 07-06-2015
Posts: 6,583
I have done some 3rd world missions
20 USD equivalents per week is lavish compared to some countries

what do you think the kid makes in china who poured the mold for your phone or spatula or shampoo bottle?
lets not even get started talking about the diamond on your wife's finger

we have no clue how good we have it
borndead1 Offline
#25 Posted:
Joined: 11-07-2006
Posts: 4,527
Satchmo218 wrote:
I was recently down in the Dominican and took a tour of Zemis Cigar factory. After observing and talking to the employees, it seemed to be a sought after place to work. Sylvain the owner seemed to know the names of every employee.


Can you buy their cigars online or are they only available at the factory?
Satchmo218 Offline
#26 Posted:
Joined: 02-07-2019
Posts: 35
borndead1 wrote:
Can you buy their cigars online or are they only available at the factory?


I believe they roll cigars for Epic cigars that you can buy in the US, otherwise just at the factory... I think.
smokestaxx Offline
#27 Posted:
Joined: 01-27-2012
Posts: 4,054
I would think that wages in Cuba differ when compared to the other countries where tobacco is grown/rolled.
If I understand correctly, the Cuban tobacco industry is state run where as the other countries have private companies and brands.
I'm sure the pay is less tyrannical than Cuba.

Also I'm sure that several, if not most of these companies give back to the community in some shape or form.
For example the Fuente's started the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation.
Got this from their website:

"The original goal of the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation was to provide an elementary school and clean water to the community around Chateau de la Fuente. However, the Foundation grew beyond all expectations. The Cigar Family Charitable Foundation now consists of a 23 acre campus located next to Chateau de la Fuente. The Foundation fills a wide range of community needs, and supports a K-12 school that provides education to more than 450 students, post-graduation student services, a medical and dental clinic, community health programs, clean water programs, a community kitchen, sports facilities, vocational training programs, small-scale farming activities and local infrastructure projects, such as road and bridge building. The Cigar Family Charitable Foundation has been recognized by the United Nations as a model for charity in the Caribbean. The Fuente and Newman families have always paid 100% of the administrative and fund raising costs of the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation, which allows all donated funds to be used for projects directly benefitting the community."
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