Plants concerned about return of migrant workers

Updated: 2012-02-01 07:27

By Zhou Wenting and Qiu Quanlin (China Daily)

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SHANGHAI / GUANGZHOU - Companies are having to introduce better pay incentives as increasing number of employees are failing to return to work after Spring Festival.

"We had more than 20 workers but only half of them have come back after the holiday," a worried Cheng Xuepeng, general manager of a wood factory in Shanghai's Pudong New Area, told China Daily on Tuesday.

He is just one of many bosses of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the eastern coastal region waiting for migrant workers to return from holiday and family reunion.

In Qianshi Shoe Manufacturing Center, a production unit of Zhejiang-based shoe giant Aokang Group, about 80 percent of the employees had returned to work by Monday. But this compared to more than 95 percent in previous years, according to Zhou Baixian, deputy general manager of the factory.

"The overcast and rainy weather could be to blame," Zhou added. "We hope more people will return later this week."

Cheng in the Shanghai factory said it is becoming harder to find workers despite offering 300 yuan ($47) a month more than last year.

"Migrant workers didn't argue about pay and welfare in the past, but now it's the first thing they ask," he said.

The Aokang Group has already introduced measures to prevent staff loss at this time.

Plants concerned about return of migrant workers 

Employers look for skilled workers on Tuesday at a job fair in Taizhou in East China's Zhejiang province. Major manufacturing hubs are experiencing a labor shortage after Spring Festival holidays. Photo by Jia Ce / for China Daily 

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