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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Workers follow manufacturers moving inland

(Xinhua)

08:37, February 01, 2012

ZHENGZHOU, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- As some manufacturers pull out of China's increasingly costly coastal regions and move to the hinterlands, many workers in traditional manufacturing hubs have decided to stay in their home provinces -- a decision that is sparking a real movement of laborers inland.

Outside Foxconn's factory in suburban Zhengzhou, capital of central Henan Province, dozens of recruitment stands are nestled, bazaar-like, in prefabricated huts crammed along both sides of the road and loudspeakers repeat job advertisements over and over.

In and out of those shacks, migrant workers wheel suitcases or tug nylon bags bursting with clothes and quilts, inquiring about jobs, filling out forms or lining up for interviews.

Meanwhile, packed buses from the central bus station or the train station usher more workers to the recruitment fair.

After being shaken by a series of suicides in the costal factory hub of Shenzhen about two years ago, Foxconn, the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer, responded by raising wages twice in its Shenzhen plant, which used to house 450,000 workers, and stepping up its drive to transfer a large portion of production to interior provinces, such as Henan and Sichuan.

Like other firms that have relocated their labor-intensive sectors to the less costly central and western provinces, Foxconn's move to the interior is a natural result of cost control consideration.

The minimum wage in Shenzhen has reached 1,500 yuan (237.5 U.S. dollars) per month, but the base monthly salary in Henan stands at 1,080 yuan despite an over-30-percent hike last year. Other production costs are also lower in Henan and other inland provinces.

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