Monday, September 21, 2009

How long will they work for 23 cents a Crate?

These vineyard workers earn about US 23 cents a crate (about two basket fulls) picking Chardonnay grapes in a Rongchen winery vineyard in Huailai County north west of Beijing. Most workers will average about 10 crates this day.

I read somewhere that there are some 750 million Chinese living in rural areas. That's more than twice the population of the United States.

What a delicate balancing act the Chinese government faces. Ah, how to keep the rural population happy? Give them a little cake, but not too much. Imagine the day when these workers refuse to labor for $2.30 a day in the fields or factories. Will the Chinese economy–so dependent on cheap labor for export–collapse?

I feel most comfortable with these workers–actually around the world. They are so willing to share.

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