DONGGUAN/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Wang Zhishen was thrilled when Danish shipper A.P. Moller-Maersk gave him two months’ paid leave, relishing the chance to spend time with his wife and daughters in China’s remote northwestern Gansu province.
But his euphoria over what he thought was an unexpected bonus quickly turned to despair when Maersk fired Wang on January 3, less than a month after he packed his bags in the southern Chinese manufacturing center of Dongguan.
Wang - Workers - Company - Dongguan - Transport
Wang said he was one of 2,000 workers laid off at the company’s Dongguan transport container factory which has been idle since early December, as the impact of a trade war between Washington and Beijing ripples through industries from logistics to autos and technology.
“I was sure it was a holiday,” said Wang, 35, who said he worked as a painter at Maersk for nearly six years until he was sacked two weeks ago via China’s WeChat messaging service.
Maersk - World - Container - Shipper - Email
Maersk, the world’s biggest container shipper, confirmed in an email to Reuters it had laid off 2,000 workers through “one-on-one” phone calls and WeChat messages.
In November, the company warned the trade war between China and the United States would hit demand for container shipping as the volume of goods shipped slides.
Subsidiaries - China - COSCO - Shipping - Response
Two subsidiaries of China’s COSCO Shipping, in a direct response to the trade war, have reduced the number of vessels in Guangdong, causing a plunge in regional shipping freight turnover, according to Guangdong’s statistics bureau.
“I heard most container factories started letting people go on leave early this year, so I felt it was normal for us to have a few more days off as well,” said Wang, who earned a base salary of 3,900 yuan ($574) per month.
Lunar - New - Year - Holiday - Year
Around the Lunar New Year holiday, this year scheduled for early February, millions of Chinese, including tens of thousands of migrant workers, travel...
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