Migrant workers pay for Xi’s Zero-COVID policy


Even after the removal of the stringent zero-COVID regulations which hoped to provide some breathing ground to the masses amidst the festive season, things might not be going too well for the migrant workers of China, who have returned early to the manufacturing hubs in hope for work. Workers, who generally return to work after the Lantern festival, have returned sooner in hope for earning an extra pay check.

The COVID restrictions imposed by the Xi regime not only slowed down the country’s economy but also worsened the situation for migrant workers dependent on a day’s salary for basic requirements.  Following the Foxconn disaster last year, that was caused due to the issue of unfair treatment of laborers, confusion over wages and bonuses, unpaid COVID-19 quarantine protocols and filthy living conditions, the situation of migrant workers has only worsened.

On Monday, 30 Jan, ‘23 the city of Guangzhou, one of the major manufacturing hubs in China saw an influx of migrant workers, all determined to find jobs at workshops and factories. The week during the Lantern festival often sees workers returning to their home towns, leaving factories short on labours.  Following the ‘golden week’, labours resume their work. However, COVID has made things different this year with workers returning in search of finding a job sooner than expected and are still unable to procure a stable income.

The situation in almost all areas in China, including Shenzhen, Qiannan and Guangzhou is the same with them being manufacturing giants in providing jobs to millions of migrant workers. As per Li Ge, a recruitment agent in Guangdong province who in his interview to the South China Morning Post stated that the factories which were offering about 26-30 yuan an hour after last year’s Lunar New Year, are now offering a minimal wage of 22-24 yuan.

If the given situation prevails for a longer period of time, it is highly likely that China’s title of being the ‘world’s manufacturing hub’ might be snatched and bigger countries like the US and the Europe might turn their eyes towards other options such as Vietnam and India.

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