Monday, February 25 08:48:44
Migrant workers who used to demand unpaid wages from their bosses before traveling home for a family reunion may find their positions reversed after the Spring Festival. After the week-long national holiday, Wang Jiwan, board chairman of Qingdao Hengda Co., a shoe manufacturer based in eastern China's Shandong Province lined up with 50 senior executives at the factory gate, bowing to welcome returning workers.
It may seem odd, but he is not alone. Many companies are trying every trick in the book to attract workers and make them feel wanted. Some distributed cash ranging from 200 yuan (31.85 U.S. dollars) to 500 yuan to parents of employees who promised to come back after the holiday. Others offered a 15-percent pay rise in the new year. Due to a lack of fixed employment contracts and rising living costs, each year after the Spring Festival, a traditional family holiday, it is common that migrant workers default on their jobs to settle back down again in their hometowns.
Labor shortage, a concern that has long plagued Chinese business owners, is an old problem and as the economy picks it will only get worse. This year, manufacturers are suffering from shortages. However, it is not due to staff leaving but the warming economy, which has meant more orders on the books. Labor shortages become particularly acute after the Spring Festival. However, this year is somewhat different, said Wan Zhong, manager of Wanjiashengshi, a human resource company based in Jinan, Shandong Province according to China Daily.
Enterprises have not lost a significant number of staff. Instead, they need more employees to fulfill rising orders, according to Wan. "The 40 companies that had outsourced a recruitment process to us reported a lower staff turnover compared with previous years. They want more workers simply because the economy has survived the crisis and they would like to expand production," he said.
China's economic growth quickened to 7.9 percent in the final three months of 2012 after hitting a three-year low in the third quarter, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. Official data also showed that the purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's manufacturing sector has been kept above 50 percent for four straight months since October. The January figure fell slightly by 0.2 percentage point from December to 50.4 percent.