The Motley Fool Discussion Boards

Previous Page

Retirement Discussions / Retire Early CampFIRE

URL:  http://boards.fool.com/the-chinese-are-doing-just-fine-thank-you-they-30497541.aspx

Subject:  Re: Atheism Date:  1/21/2013  1:54 PM
Author:  CCinOC Number:  667554 of 737513

The Chinese are doing just fine, thank you.

They are?!

Workers get a relatively small piece of economic pie: 53 percent in 2007, down from 61 percent in 1990 and compared with two third in the United States. Total Workforce: 795.3 million in 2006. Labor force by occupation: 24 percent industry; 35 percent agriculture; 31 percent services (2005). By 2030 40 percent of the global work force will come from China or India.[Source: The Economist] [...]

Employers routinely discriminate on the basis of height, looks, health, home province and age. Workers are routinely passed over because they are too ugly or too short or have had hepatitis in the past. A typical advertisement for a factory job reads: “1) Age 18 to 35, middle school education, 2) Good health, good quality, 3) Attentive to hygiene, willing to eat bitterness and work hard. 4) Women 1.66 meters or taller. 5) People from Jiangxi and Sichuan need not apply.”

Factories often have a high turnover. Workers often quit. Companies traditionally could easily fire workers. Many workers have mobile phone and use them to exchange information about jobs. Workers that quit typically don’t give any notice when the leave. They typically ask for a couple days off, change their cell number and split. People frequently change jobs around the lunar New Year. New labors laws make it harder to fire workers.

Many jobs require a lot of overtime. Workers often welcome it as a chance to make more money. Sometimes workers go months without getting paid. When they lose their jobs they often don't receive the pension or severance pay that has been promised them. [...]

A common complaint among laborers is lack of overtime pay when a work schedule exceeds 40 hours. Liu, the labor advocate, said his group had done a study of 210 factories in the Pearl River Delta and the Yangtze River Delta that showed 90 percent of those factories cheat on overtime: they often reported employees as working eight-hour days even when the hours were much longer. Thus, the salaries were much more generous on paper than in reality. [Source: Edward Wong, New York Times, June 20, 2010]

At the Gloria Plaza Hotel in Beijing, workers took their dispute with management to the streets on May 2010. The company that owns the hotel plans to tear it down and lay off the workers. Although the company had said the workers would get the minimum severance pay required by law, the employees complained that that was far too low. They are a state-owned enterprise, they have the money, but they don’t care about us at all, said one woman who declined to be named for fear of retribution. [...]

China has traditionally had an obedient work force, which helps keep management costs low. Photographs of Chinese factories often show rows of workers with no supervisors in sight. In some work places it is not uncommon to have only 15 mangers for 5,000 workers. Working together is expressed by the Chinese proverb: Eight hermits sail the ocean with the might of each other.

A study by the McKinsey consulting group found that the average Chinese workers needs to put in seven hours on the job to earn enough to purchase the same amount of goods or services that an American worker could buy with one hour’s pay.

It’s not only cheap labor that drives China’s economy. Chinese workers are hard working and efficient. Marril Weigrod, a consultant for China Strategies, told the New York Times: “Culturally the Chinese put a very high premium on not losing face. In manufacturing, that translates into not making mistakes on the production line. Their self-discipline and their ability to adapt are key factors in driving Chinese competitiveness.” If one worker is not up to snuff there is another worker waiting in the wings to take his place. [...]

One businessman told Theroux that "young workers were lazy, slow and arrogant, while those over fifty were the best.” Workers who grew up during the Cultural Revolution "seem to have a chip on their shoulder, as if they were cut out for better things." The Chinese "are used to working with their hands," he added. "That's the problem. They can rig up something with a piece of wire and a stick. But they have never relied on sophisticated machinery or high tech. I have to show them every detail about a hundred times." One worker with a machine-making company I talked to said the Chinese were not very good at tinkering with machines to work out what is wrong with them.

One Japanese manager in China told the Washington Post, “The competition for jobs is really brutal here, so people are far more serious about their work..” In Japan “we have to promise workers jobs for life and pay them based on seniority. But no one even thinks about that here. Workers in China believe in merit.”

The stress created by free market economics seems to be taking its toll. One survey found that a third of all this asked felt angry, frustrated or listless. Prozac sales nearly doubled between 2000 and 2004 and an increasing number of stressed out Chinese are seeking advise from psychologists and counselors.

It is not uncommon for discouraged officials and managers to commit suicide. See Mattel

http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=367

Doesn't sound "just fine" to me.
Copyright 1996-2014 trademark and the "Fool" logo is a trademark of The Motley Fool, Inc. Contact Us