More money seems to be China’s main goal, the fact that product and profit comes before people make me slightly depressed, all the documentaries I have watched recently on China and their ever growing production lines makes me feel like a lot of people from China are merely existing. I don’t think I could cope with what Chinese factory workers go though, the thought of working in a factory where I work over twelve hours a day for £10 seems ridiculous, and knowing my work will never change, if you start your new job at the iron safety checking station thats where your going to stay. I recently watched Gok Wan’s documentary on channel 4 which made me aware of how skilled some Chinese factory workers are, to be able to cut a pattern for jeans in minutes is something that deserves high praise, I attempted it one, gave up after two hours. One company in Xintang makes 260 million pairs of jeans a year and has 3000 employees, which works out as 86,666.6667 pairs per employee which means one employee makes roughly 237 pairs a day, who seriously needs that many jeans. Another interesting thing I found out was that a bra company makes 1.5 million bras a month, mainly for the UK for companies like ASDA, Marks and Spencers, Debenhams and Victoria Secret, each bra is made to the exact same quality but in ASDA you could pick one up for as little as £4 where as in Victoria Secret they cost around $50, such a ridiculous difference in price just for a label.
Even the British black cabs are made in China, all the components are made in China to keep costs down, workers are more respectful, helpful, organized and are whiling to work all hours just so they are able to make money to send home to their families, three sisters saved enough money to build a house for their family, I highly doubt that anyone would do that here.
Half of Shanghai’s old neighborhood was demolished to make way for new high rise developments which attracts a million people a year to the already highly populated country. In the past ten years 600,000 families have been forced to move neighborhood so their houses can be destroyed and the government is making a fortune leasing land to new developers, but some people are refusing to leave due to a terrible amount of compensation, they are living in dreadful conditions without water or electricity, how can people be treated with so little respect, they are just completely disregarded and betrayed by their government. The amount China has changed in 20 years is vast, the views seem tainted by the over the top high rise buildings. With the fast changing economy companies struggle to keep up and within four years many factories closed down and left 24 million workers unemployed. I recently read an article about Chen Zhongwei, 26 years old, who used to work as a security guard until the factory started to lose orders, he is now back at home in the countryside without a job, he describes the village as dull, useless and provides him with no passion. Millions of people his age cant find the life they want but they also refuse to live the lives their parents have because they have grown up during a time of expansion and want more from life than to just survive. Another interesting article I read highlighted the fact that parents and children have left the countryside to work in factories but unlike their parents they are increasingly not prepared to work in such poor conditions, they are protesting for a bigger share in the profit the companies make “they want to build a life for themselves in the city, and to do that they need money.” Workers are in high demand so they are more whiling to stand up for themselves. In China older generations worked to survive, taking any job possible, the new generation has plans for their futures, they have aspirations so they want a job that will provide them enough money to get there. I watched a documentary the other day where a teenaged girl who works in a sock factory said she wanted to be a doctor, I felt sorry for her because I knew this was never going to happen, even if she works all her life she probably wouldn’t save up enough money to put her through school especially when half her earning go to her parents. As China grows so does its peoples plans for their futures, they want better conditions to work in so they can provide a higher standard of living for their family.