Skip to main content

tv   Asia Insight  PBS  April 19, 2017 6:30pm-7:01pm PDT

6:30 pm
this is known as china's silicon valley due to its many electronics factories. it ranked first after shanghai
6:31 pm
and beijing. in mid-february, the end of the chinese new year, the city is crowded with people. for a temp company dispatching laip laborers to factories, this is the busiest time of theborer the busiest time of the year. with improving standards of living, securing factory workers in china has become difficult. every year fewer people apply for the jobs. the start of chinese new year is especially challenging because many workers quits during the season. to make up to this loss, this company recruits people from rural villages all over china. more than 10,000 laborers are registered at the temp agency. for a week after the end of chinese new year, large busses are chartered several times aal.
6:32 pm
the agency goes to great length to transport workers from remote villages. factory workers who are once the backbone of the chinese economy were usually young men from rural areas who couldn't find jobs elsewhere. they were called farm mechanics, despite the long hours and low wages, many rural youths inspired to become farm mechanics and improve their lives. now that a minimum wage and labor conditions have been established by law, the work environment has improved and workers incomes have surged. being a farm mechanic is no longer the ultimate goal for young affluent chinese. recently many young people from rural areas have worked at factories temporarily to assess
6:33 pm
their life goals or to use work as an opportunity to leave for the city. some work all over china as farm mechanics. this is one of the founding members of the temp agency. he came here as a farm mechanic and his company he has long been in charge of admitting new workers and motivating
6:34 pm
china was once called the factory of the world. but as the country becomes wealthier, it's people have more jobs to choose from. this is creating a new generation of we will-off migrant workers who make far more than the highly educated. they're referred to as the new blue collar worker. the service industry comprises nearly 70% of shanghai's gdp.
6:35 pm
almost every day new stores open while others close down. a former farm mechanic lives here. after graduating from junior high school he came to shanghai with his father in search of work. currently he runs three hair salons. he has been steady opening more salons since he became an independent hairstylist eight years ago. their income is more than 750,000 u.s. dollars annually. he puts his former coworkers in charge of his other salons, but he began getting too busy to actually work with customers because of business consultations. while juggling work, he taught himself all he needed to know
6:36 pm
about managing stores, such as accounting and labor laws. he decided to launch his own business because he heard customers say that there were no affordable yet stylish beauty salons. at the time, there were many luxury salons targeting the wealththy, but there were few that the new middle class could afford. he saw a business opportunity there and launched his own hair
6:37 pm
salon. there are no licenses for hairstyle lists in china. until recently, hairstyling was considered a low-status provision and tho profession and those worked for free at first to gain experience. he left his hometown to earn money for his older brother's university tuition. he came to shanghai at the request of his father where he washed dishes and waited on tables. he started gaining experience as a hairstylist after the tuition was paid. in between his busywork schedule, he always visits his father's home in shanghai.
6:38 pm
his father still works in the city. he has been superintendent of this apartment building for ten years and sends money back to his wife. the superintendent's office serves as his father's home as well. back in his hometown, he was a farmer who also worked in the village office. in order to earn enough money, he brought his son along with him to shanghai. he's been working in the city for almost on this day, he got a call from
6:39 pm
his feeather to have lunch together. his father had returned to his hometown for the first time in a while and had brought food cooked with care by his mother. he hasn't returned home for the past few years due to his busywork
6:40 pm
the two have supported each other's lives in the harsh city of
6:41 pm
it's extremely difficult for people with no capital or connections to succeed in this city. in a district of western shanghai where auto related factories are concentrated, one
6:42 pm
former farm mechanic manages a repair factory specializing in foreign cars. he left his hometown at the age of 16 and came to shanghai at age 21 after living in several different regions of
6:43 pm
he striefd to become an auto repair expert after arriving in shanghai. he opened his own store at age 27. but customers were reluctant ton visit the business of an outsider. after hearing complaints about the price of official repair shops for foreign luxury cars, he decided to specialize in repairing imports and maintained affordable quality service. having worked in cities all over china, he was often looked down upon. after opening his store in shanghai, he's received eviction notices three times because of urban development as shanghai rearranges zones where migrant workers do
6:44 pm
his company currently makes $145,000 in annual sales. five years ago he launched a new
6:45 pm
division for painting vehicles. that was when he met this he fell in love with his techniques and welcomed him into his company. he was also a migrant who came to shanghai in search of work and has worked in painting for his entire career. he previously worked for an official foreign car repair shop, but he says he was never fully accepted in the company no matter how much he refined his skills. right before joining the company, he entered a nationwide
6:46 pm
paint competition. he placed he began recruiting people who exeled at jobs originally performed by farm mechanics. he believes that talent is the key to building a successful
6:47 pm
business. his current dwreream is to makee best company in china by hiring workers who aren't currently recognized or reward by their current employers. a week after chinese new year he finished the holiday season and resumed work at its normal pace. the young workers who registered with the temp agency are now dispatched to factories. they won't be able to return home until next new
6:48 pm
people line up in front of the these young workers are seeking to resign. some have only been here for two
6:49 pm
days. on this day alone, 20 people quit the factory. when asked why they were leaving, none of them had plans for future work.
6:50 pm
the hair salon opens at 10:00 a.m. about ten minutes before opening, employees rush into the store. these young people also left their rural villages for an exciting life in the big city. he believes in giving everyone as many opportunities as possible. as he knows all too well only a handful will
6:51 pm
6:52 pm
the cost of a haircut depends on the hairstylist's skills. the difference between the highest and lowest is for than fourfold and customers take this into account when requesting stylists. the stores have a responsibility to pay trainees, but after that stylists will only get a small base salary untles less they receive requests. only two stylists including the
6:53 pm
owner have obtained the highest rank among all three of his salons. on days when he works as a stylist, his appointments fill up quickly and there's always a waiting list. he is highly skilled as well as considerate and a natural at entertaining customers. one employee has asked for time off saying that he wants to return home. he joined the company just six months ago, but several days ago he suddenly made his
6:54 pm
ahead of his three-month break, he says fair we wirewell to eac coworkers and leaves.
6:55 pm
according to the owner, employees who leave like this never return. he continues working without seeing him he has said countless good-byes since his days a
6:56 pm
right before the salon closes, he lets the other staff go home while he tends to the last customer. he does everything from the shampooing to the cut and perm by himself.
6:57 pm
in this last cut of the day, he demonstrates every skill he's gained as a stylist so far. his appointment book is as full as ever. the new blue collar worker is the result of china's increasing wealth. these workers believe in the paths they've chosen and remain determined to seize a winning opportunity.
6:58 pm
6:59 pm
7:00 pm
hello there, a very warm welcome to "nhk newsline." it is 9:00 a.m. in tokyo. top story this hour, presidential candidates in south korea clashed other how the country should deal with north korea. in the first televised debate of the election campaign. five candidates discussed how their government should respond while the u.s. is intensifying pressure against the north which is accelerating nuclear and missile developments. front-runner moon said that although he believes resolving the issue should be given top priority, the reconciliation

50 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on