Cities plan for onslaught of labourers

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 February, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 February, 1995, 12:00am

GUANGZHOU is preparing for a new onslaught of job-seeking labourers from other provinces. More than two million workers are expected to pass through the city in the coming months, official reports said yesterday.

The China News Service (CNS) said that as many as 1.8 million migrant labourers would arrive in Guangzhou and other Pearl River cities in the next 30 days alone.

Although the authorities have managed to avoid major accidents so far, CNS said the real test would come later this week when more job-seekers arrive.

Last Sunday, more than 60,000 outside labourers arrived on trains in Guangzhou and the authorities predicted the daily volume would stay at similar levels in the coming weeks.

CNS also reported that Fuzhou in Fujian province received more than 15,000 outside labourers each day last week.

Beijing has been alarmed by the annual transport crisis when millions of labourers zigzag across the country before and after the Lunar New Year.

An emergency order was issued by the State Council late last year requiring local governments to keep at least 60 per cent of labourers at factories in order to avoid over-loading the already congested railway system.

Many factory owners had to provide special meals and entertainment for the workers in order to comply with the Government's demand.

Last year, more than 40 people were crushed to death in a stampede at the Hengyang station following the rush to board a train heading to Guangzhou.