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China Facing Shortage of Workers

April 2, 2012
Plain English Version

A shortage of workers is developing in China. Wages of workers are increasing and more workers are volunteering or being forced to work overtime.

Foxconn is a large employer making products for Apple Computers and Dell as well as other companies. After complaints the company reviewed its wages, working conditions and overtime.

The work in the factories is sometimes grueling and even dangerous. Even with good intentions, it will be hard for manufacturing companies to change conditions in the near future.

The biggest problem is finding workers. Factories often pay fees to agents to recruit workers arriving by bus and train from distant provinces.

Younger workers, having little else to do, want to earn enough money to return home. These workers want to work overtime. When factories enforce rules limiting the workweek, they complain.

Chinese law requires overtime pay for more than eight hours a day. China bans workers and factories from agreeing to work more hours.

Wages and prices are rising throughout China. Chinese workers are becoming more interested in living an affluent life-style.

The New York Times

 

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