Migrants snub new year job offers

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 January, 2008, 12:00am

Factories in Shenzhen are welcoming their employees to stay on site over the Lunar New Year, but most migrant workers were heading home.

Zhang Caiqiong, a human resources manager for a telephone manufacturer in Pingdi, Shenzhen, said yesterday she was busy negotiating for about 300 migrant workers at another factory in Dafen to join her company.

Most of them were stranded in their factory dormitories because of delayed payments and disrupted traffic. But Ms Zhang seemed happy.

'We welcome all the workers to move to our factory as new employees,' she said. 'We will offer them free dormitory accommodation and meals during the Lunar New Year. They can work after the festival and get the same wage as before.'

Electronics giant Foxconn would also change its plans to arrange for tens of thousands of employees to stay in Shenzhen for the Lunar New Year, spokesman Liu Kun said.

'Foxconn bought group tickets to send our workers home this coming Sunday,' he said, adding that he was worried train services would be cancelled and all the workers would have to stay at the factory.'

Many Hong Kong manufacturers are also allowing workers to stay at their plants for free until next month. A Hong Kong boss even welcomed new migrants, providing they promised to work for him.

'There will be a serious labour shortage after the holiday. Now may be a good time to attract new labour,' he said.

But most migrant workers indicated they still wanted to go home. More than 60,000 passengers were still waiting anxiously at Shenzhen railway station yesterday, blocking corridors and stairs linking a nearby metro station. Only a few chose to seek ticket refunds.