For years, Shanghai has faced a shortage of maids, known as "ayis" in China, during the Spring Festival, because millions of migrants leave the city. The problem is back again this year, and it seems no one has found a satisfactory solution. Zhang Yuan has the story.
Household service providers say they have been struggling with a shortage of ayis for more than a week. And they won’t be able to help out families whose ayis are heading home for the holiday, even if they are willing to pay higher than normal wages.
Pan Weihua, household service provider, said:" We cannot accept any new orders now. We don’t have ayis now. In our online chat group, someone proposed 4,000 yuan a month, but no one answers. Last year, it was just 2,800 to 3,000."
Pan says the situation won’t improve until the end of February. That is good news for the ayis who will stay in town over the holiday, as they can expect to earn an average of 3,500 yuan for the month. And those taking care of the elderly will earn even more. Some families are now looking for a temporary ayi, but few are having any luck.
Staff member of 962512 Household Service Hotline, said:" It is even harder to find a temporary ayi with the daily salary of 200 yuan."
The courier industry is facing a similar problem. It is estimated that more than two-thirds of the couriers in town will leave Shanghai before the holiday begins.
Pei Chenqian, ZTO Express, said:" Almost all the couriers in our company have asked for leave for the Spring Festival. For our branch, no more than eight people will stay. And for the entire network citywide, we have no more than 50 couriers."
I go back to my hometown on February 1st. I am a Henan native. I think my job can be taken care of by others.
Some companies say they are offering five times the normal salary to encourage couriers to stay. Other companies will have managers fill in for delivery boys.
Wang Bin, manager of Yunda Express, said:" I drive by myself to send the packages, especially on Chinese New Year’s Eve. None of the couriers work on that day. We several managers need to deliver around 200 packages that day."
Last year, several courier companies charged an extra ten yuan for deliveries during the Spring Festival. But so far no one in the industry has proposed a similar policy for this year.
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