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Special trains carry migrant workers back

By Qiu Quanlin in Rongjiang, Guizhou | China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-20 09:36
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Migrant workers arrive at a train station in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, to return to work in the province on Feb 19, 2024. [Photo by Qiu Quanlin/China Daily]

Free chartered services make it easier for people to return to work in Guangdong

After spending the Spring Festival holiday at home, Zhang Jiayang took a special chartered train from Rongjiang county, Guizhou province, to Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, on Monday, ready to return to work.

"I took some cured and salted meat made by my mother back to Guangdong," she said.

After a journey of about six hours on the chartered train, Zhang, 24, took a chartered bus to her workplace in Dongguan, Guangdong.

Before she began working in Dongguan, Zhang's family, living in a remote mountainous village in Rongjiang, mainly relied on farming, with an annual income of only about 10,000 yuan ($1,400).

After five years of work at an electronics factory, the life of Zhang's family has significantly improved, with a yearly income of over 60,000 yuan.

"My family has now built a new house and purchased home appliances," Zhang said, adding her goals in the new year are to obtain a driver's license and buy a car.

The chartered high-speed trains and buses for Zhang and over 600 other migrant workers returning to work on Monday were organized by human resources and social security authorities in Guangdong and Guizhou.

After the first free chartered train departed from Zunyi, Guizhou, on Thursday, authorities in Guangdong intensified efforts to increase the frequency of special trains for workers.

The trains mostly departed from the provinces of Guizhou and Hunan and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, major sources of labor for Guangdong, according to Guangdong Human Resources and Social Security Department.

China Railway Guangzhou Group said over 90 percent of the migrant workers in Guangdong were expected to return to their workplaces after the Spring Festival holiday.

The railway authorities said they would operate 24 special trains for migrant workers, providing "point-to-point" transportation services, with an estimated 15,000 people expected to be transported to Guangdong after the holiday.

Chartered buses were also organized by local human resources authorities to transport workers from high-speed railway stations to their workplaces.

"The free return-to-work special train and bus services have relieved us from the hassle of scrambling for tickets and changing trains," said Shi Biao, a 45-year-old worker from Guizhou.

After arriving at Guangzhou South Railway Station in the afternoon, Shi was ready to return to work at a garment factory in Guangzhou's Haizhu district.

"My job is to deliver work clothes for a shipping company," Shi said.

"It was so busy last year that I frequently needed to drive between the two companies."

Before the departure of the chartered trains, the Guangdong human resources authorities also launched several job events in Guizhou to promote Guangdong's employment policies and services, aiming to recruit more tech-savvy and experienced workers.

After the Spring Festival holiday, Guangdong, an economic powerhouse in South China, will organize more than 2,000 job fairs and recruitment events to provide job opportunities for migrant workers returning to the province, the local human resources authorities said.

"After spending the holidays at home, I wanted to come to Guangzhou to find a job as there are many companies recruiting online," said Wang Minli, 23, from Rongjiang.

Wang recently resigned from a private company and received interview invitations from several companies before arriving in Guangzhou.

"I hope to find a satisfactory job and make my parents' lives happier," she said after arriving at Guangzhou South Railway Station on Monday.

In addition to organizing recruitment events, the Guangdong human resources authorities said skills training for workers in companies and vocational schools would be prioritized to provide more skilled workers for the high-quality development of the province.

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