laid-off workers

China to Brighten Bleak New Year With Cash Gifts

The Chinese government will be giving small cash gifts to some 74 million citizens before Chinese New Year. From Reuters, via MSNBC: China will give its neediest citizens hand-outs of up to 180 yuan ($26) to brighten their mood...

China Considers Aid Program for Laid-off Workers

From the International Herald Tribune: As a result of the global economic downturn, the province of Guangdong may set up a fund to help newly unemployed factory workers. The proposal is believed to be in response to fears about...

After Toy Factory Closure, Blame Game Begins

Hong Kong-listed toymaking company Smart Union was forced to close its massive factory in Dongguan, Guangdong province down last week, laying off 7,000 workers in the process. The BBC reports: A Chinese toymaker which supplied...

Song: Jangle for the Jobless

Beijing-based poet and folk singer Zhou Funpeng, 周云蓬, 38, has penned the following song, The Unemployed (失业者), a mournful ballad representing the people left behind in urban China’s sprint towards prosperity. Listen here...

Poem: Like A Factory Worker

Here are two poems written by Tianjin based poet Li Wei (translated by M.J.): Like a factory worker I cut off my long hair Short to the roots Mali Zhe saw it Patted me and said Oh my, your head is truly ugly Like that of a...

Poem: Me, or a Monkey

Here is another poem written by Li Wei (translated by M.J.): Me, or a Monkey (我,或一只猴子) To lessen the burden Of the nation, of the people I An average man A completely inconspicuous person A person of no contribution whatsoever...

Chinese Success Story Chokes on Its Own Growth – Harvard French

From The New York Times: When Zhang Feifei lost her job in this booming Chinese factory town, she was not terribly concerned. Jobs had always been plentiful in Shenzhen’s flourishing economy. …Few cities anywhere have created wealth faster than Shenzhen, but the costs of its phenomenal success stare out from every corner: environmental destruction, soaring […]

Retraining China’s State Workers – BBC News

From BBC News: With a final flourish, Dr Wang Waihong dishes out glistening choy sum, or Chinese flowering cabbage, and receives an enthusiastic round of applause from her classmates. Made redundant from her job at a local hospital in China’s southern province of Guangdong, she has enrolled in cookery classes at a vocational training centre […]

Jim Landers: As China privatizes state-owned factories, `Rust Belt’ workers struggle

From Dallas Morning News: In Fushun, a city of 2.3 million, the government workforce has fallen by 380,000 since 2000. Coal mines, construction companies and machinery factories have been pushed into the private sector, where they have shed employees or closed down. Song Xiuling, who sells raw fish and vegetables in an unheated warehouse market, […]



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