The new scene of Guangdong job market: the owner of the garment factory waits in line to be "picked" by the workers

  The economic phenomenon reflected from "boss picking workers" to "workers picking the boss" deserves attention

  Our reporters Che Xiaohui, Huang Haoyuan, Zhou Ying

  Entering March, the temperature in Guangzhou has soared, and it has gradually become hotter.

As hot as the weather, there are job markets on the street in some urban villages.

These places have become gathering places for small factories and migrant workers to select and match each other.

  Located in the Chengzhong Village near the Zhongda Cloth Market in Haizhu District, a "long recruiting dragon" is different from what people often see: this 3 kilometers long road is crowded with clothing shop owners holding a signboard waiting to be taken. Workers "select".

  As one of the country's most concentrated "front shop and back factory" cloth garment markets, there are tens of thousands of merchants mainly small workshops and more than 100,000 migrant workers.

  From "the boss picks the worker" to "the worker picks the boss", is the labor market inverted?

Why do workers like street employment in a "day-to-day settlement" style?

What economic phenomena worthy of attention does this phenomenon reflect?

Xinhua Daily Telegraph reporter launched an investigation on this.

  Why is the boss "picked" in line?

  After the Spring Festival, it is the traditional peak season for the clothing industry. After the bleak epidemic last year, the post-holiday peak season of the Zhongda cloth market seems to be earlier and more intense than in previous years.

  Entering March, a family of cloth, clothing, and fabric stalls have all opened for business, and there are crowds everywhere, and the small carts that pull goods shuttle back and forth between the stalls like little bees.

  At 8:30 in the morning, at Kangle Zhongyue South New Street near Kangle Bridge, the roads were already full of hiring garment factory owners.

They were holding various clothes samples and holding signs of "four lines" and "flat cars" (different processes of making clothes) standing on the side of the road and shouting.

  The sidewalks are densely lined with each other, and it is difficult to have a "foothold". The ears are filled with the sound of wage bargaining, and the harsh horns that are constantly urged by the flow of people.

  Standing in the crowd of recruiters, Sister Xu is the owner of a garment factory and a hot drilling factory.

She said that last year, affected by the epidemic, there were no orders from abroad, and the domestic clothing industry was squeezed. It was difficult to do business and almost closed down because of low-price sales to make money back.

However, after the Spring Festival this year, the market quickly picked up. Customers often "place an order today and get the goods tomorrow", and the manpower is simply too busy.

  "If there are too many orders to finish, the boss will find a few more factories to do it together. So here we recruit workers in the morning and customers in the afternoon, and we are producing non-stop during the day and night." Although sister Xu stayed up all night, she was tired but excited. Seeing the depression of the past year, the noisy roads, the sound of bargaining one after another, and the lights of her own factory day and night, made her feel at ease.

  Around the Zhongda cloth market, the surrounding urban villages spontaneously formed a dense small clothing workshop. The large one rented a peasant house and hired 20 to 30 workers, and the small one had a room with two sewing machines for two couples.

These workshops mainly undertake outsourcing orders from factories and are the "nervous endings" of the garment industry chain.

  Large and small factories and workshops have spawned a large demand for garment workers.

The road job market here has existed for many years, and most of the garment workers come from Hubei Province. Therefore, there are also many "shanzhai passenger stations" that travel to and from Hubei Xiantao, Honghu and other counties.

In the past, the road market has been booming in supply and demand, but this year, under multiple factors, it has shown an unprecedented blowout.

  "The big river has water and the small river is full."

At this time last year, the clothing industry was bleak due to the epidemic, but the market quickly picked up after the Spring Festival this year, and some large factories' orders that could not be completed quickly flowed into these small factories.

Before and after the Lantern Festival, the time gap between sufficient orders and workers returning to their hometowns and not returning to the city led to a sharp increase in recruitment difficulties.

  Why do workers like part-time jobs in the "Nissin" style?

  29-year-old Xu Wenge and 31-year-old Jin Jia are fellows in Hubei.

The two came out at 2 o'clock in the afternoon and stood in an area where casual workers were concentrated near Kangle Bridge.

Before 3 o'clock, they negotiated the wages with a boss holding a "four-line" sign and entered the processing workshop.

  The boss finds a good machine and a working place for the two of them, and greets them briefly, and then he is busy going out to order the goods.

Xu Wenge skillfully skeined thread on the machine and started to get busy, and he could make a piece of clothing in about a minute or two.

However, after less than half an hour, Xu Wenge greeted Jin Jia to "leave".

  "In the clothing industry, you mainly count money by piece counting. The cost of each piece here is 1.5 yuan, and the price is not bad. If you make 300 pieces a day, you can earn four to five hundred yuan. But the fabrics here are too narrow to make it fast. In this way, I won't make much money in one day, it's not worthwhile." Xu Wenge said.

  Xu Wenge has been working in the garment industry in Guangzhou for more than 10 years.

He said that since 2015, he will not enter the factory and specialize in odd jobs.

"Entering the factory is stable, but the working hours are long and not free. Now I do odd jobs. I have the final say. If I'm not happy, I will change another house. Anyway, I rely on labor to calculate the money, be diligent, and earn the same as in the factory. The peak season is one month. I can earn tens of thousands of yuan, and I can earn 4,000 to 5,000 yuan in off-season.

  The Zhongda cloth market provides "soil" for a large number of garment workshops and temporary labor markets.

According to the reporter's observation, tens of thousands of merchants here are mainly engaged in the final processes of the clothing industry, such as sewing the sleeves and necklines, ironing, and seaming.

These processes are difficult to automate. Some large enterprises in the Pearl River Delta have produced the energy-produced block parts and sent them to these small workshops for final integration, reducing their dependence on labor.

A large number of small factories and garment workshops have also become indispensable and important links in the industrial chain.

  At the same time, urban villages like Kangle Village also provide low living costs for garment workshops and workers.

The beds here are generally 12 yuan/night, and the three-meat and one-vegetable box lunch is 15 yuan, which attracts them to stay here for a long time.

  According to incomplete statistics, tens of thousands of clothing merchants and more than 100,000 migrant workers have gathered near the Zhongda cloth market.

  Hidden worries of "prosperous supply and demand" in recruiting workers

  In the evening, the reporter followed the migrant workers through the winding alleys and walked into the "handshake building" of this urban village, where the garment processing factory of Sichuan boss Zhang Huahui was located.

  A shop of less than 100 square meters is divided into upper and lower floors. On the first floor, a large table more than ten meters long is stacked with clothes that the workers have just locked.

More than a dozen machines are placed in two rows on the second floor, and several workers are busy sewing.

  "We have five or six long-term workers here. Most of them hire odd jobs and settle their wages on a daily basis." Zhang Huahui said that the low and peak seasons in the clothing industry are obvious. Generally, the market is the most prosperous in a year after the Spring Festival.

Recruiting long-term workers is not cost-effective, and part-time workers can alleviate temporary underemployment.

When there are few orders, there is no need to raise so many people.

  "Some time ago, the workers did not come back and there were many orders. It was really difficult to recruit workers. After the Lantern Festival, most of the workers returned, and now it is much better to recruit workers." Zhang Huahui said while busying his work.

  The reporter's survey found that the current supply and demand relationship between recruiting and employing workers can be roughly balanced, but in the long run, both hirers and migrant workers have their own worries.

  From the perspective of the nature of work, the garment workshops at the end of the industrial chain account for a large proportion of manual work, requiring long hours of work, which is not liked by young people.

Zhang Huahui has no worries about recruiting now, but thinks it will definitely become more and more difficult.

"Whether in a factory or a workshop, sitting in front of the machine and repetitive work, it takes a few hours to sit. Now the young people born in the 90s have better family conditions than the previous generation and are unwilling to suffer."

  At the same time, engaging in garment making is not a simple repetitive work, it is a technical job, and requires investment in learning and practice.

Zhang Zhanxiong, a 28-year-old garment maker, said that there is no place to learn in this industry. They are taught by relatives and friends. They are clumsy and slow. They are not as fast as other industries. "I suffered from an occupational disease at a young age. It’s not as easy as delivering food."

  The reduction in industry profits has also made small workshop owners complain.

Zhou Yulan, who hired for her family, said that processing a lady's long sleeve to earn 10 yuan would cost the workers 8 yuan.

Now Guangzhou’s rents are rising year after year, and there are frequent reports of demolition of urban villages, “I’m in my 50s and I don’t want to do it anymore. I go home and do other things. I have worked hard for a year and ended up working for the landlord. "

  Make the "nerve endings" healthy and active

  The clothing industry’s road market is particularly lively under the "good years". "Orders urge people to come" reflects the recovery of the entire industry. It drives the whole industry chain to order strong orders, increase production capacity, and accelerate the pace. It is a gratifying sign of the overall recovery of the economy.

  Tens of thousands of garment workshops, like the "nervous endings" of this industry, have shown strong market flexibility under the impact of the epidemic: when the epidemic comes, many small workshops "lie down on the spot", and the cost of closing down is the lowest. , And once the market recovers, production can be quickly organized, "the spring breeze will green the south bank of the river again."

  At the same time, a large number of flexible employees "do not fight against the west" and other hidden worries, and also call for the system to study countermeasures as soon as possible to keep these "nervous endings" healthy and active.

  Xu Wenge said that he has been doing odd jobs for a long time. Although the monthly income is tens of thousands of yuan when the monthly income is good, there is no long-term protection, and the workshop owner will not buy social insurance.

"Except for some large-scale factories that buy social security for workers. Like us, we can only wait for enough money to buy social security and provide our own protection."

  The reporter interviewed a number of workshop owners and found that hiring part-time workers is flexible employment, without labor contracts, and without any welfare guarantees.

This means that once problems arise, they will become social bottoms, including accidental injuries and work-related accidents in production safety, and social security for workers when they are old.

  "Nerve endings" are key tissues in the body.

From the perspective of the garment industry chain, despite the obvious trend of industrial transformation and upgrading and intelligence in recent years, a large number of end-processes cannot be made intelligent, and workshop-style garment factories with flexible labor have become an important part of the industry chain.

  The more active the market, the more flexible employment tends to be.

Industry insiders pointed out that flexible employment in China is on the rise, involving 200 million people.

Facing this trend, we should provide this group with more effective guarantees in terms of institutional mechanisms.