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Companies share staff to resolve labor shortages in epidemic

By Pei Pei in Shenzhen and Hu Meidong in Fuzhou | | Updated: 2020-02-21 22:04
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Wang Danqing, a temporary worker, works at a Hema grocery store unit in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. [Photo by Hu Jinwei/for]

During the novel coronavirus outbreak, shared staff among different enterprises has become a trend.

Some catering service providers, like restaurants, hotels and shopping malls, have few consumers, while supermarkets, e-commerce and logistics companies are short of hands.

To curb the virus' spread, tens of millions of people are staying quarantined at home, leading to a surge in online shopping, and a consequent rise in demand for delivery.

On Feb 3, Hema Fresh, a produce chain backed by Alibaba, began to hire temporary employees from restaurants. The next day, aware of the labor shortage in Fuzhou, Fujian province, US-based retail giant Walmart started to offer jobs to idle hands because of the epidemic.

Wang Danqing, a waiter in a restaurant, has benefited from the shared-employment proposals. "I've worked in Hema since Feb 10. My job is to sort out proper goods for online orders," he said.

As of Feb 14, 2,700 workers from more than 40 companies have been temporarily employed at Hema. As of Monday, more than 3,000 people have found part-time jobs at Walmart's more than 400 supermarkets in the city.

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