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Sichuan's First Inter-provincial Labor Cooperation Return-to-Work Special Train Departs following Spring Festival Holiday
Updated:2024.02.26

Migrant workers made their way through the green channel, wearing red scarves and carrying homemade preserved meat and sausages...On the morning of February 22, Wu Xiaoya from Qionglai, Chengdu boarded train D1805 at Chengdu East Railway Station with his wife and eight-year-old son, bound for Guangzhou to embark on a new year of endeavors.

This train represents the inaugural inter-provincial labor cooperation return-to-work special train jointly organized by the Department of Human Resources and Social Security of Sichuan Province and the Human Resources and Social Security Department of Guangdong Province following the 2024 Spring Festival holiday. The train made stops at the railway stations of Mianyang and Deyang, Chengdu East Railway Station, and Yibinxi Railway Station successively, offering free tickets to more than 600 Sichuan migrant workers returning to work in Guangdong. What stories unfolded aboard this return-to-work special train? What are the aspirations of these Sichuan migrant workers for the new year?

Being surrounded by loved ones fuels their motivation to work harder

The most common scene on trains is that families take care of each other.

After assisting his parents in securely positioning their luggage, Chen Wen from Jiefang Village, Sanjiang Town, Jingyan County in Leshan City took out snacks from his backpack and handed them to his four-year-old daughter Chenchen. The little girl's endearing way of eating brought joy and laughter to her family of three generations.

Chenchen's grandfather, Chen Xuliang, is 53 years old this year, with a deep tan and average height. He has been working in Shenzhen for 33 years. Despite being an ordinary concrete formwork erection worker, he has a deep familiarity with the construction projects he has contributed to. "We participated in the construction of Shun Hing Square, Shenzhen Ping An International Finance Center, and Shenzhen Civil Center, all of which are iconic buildings of Shenzhen."

Chen Wen also relocated to Guangdong for work after graduating from university, and he has been working there for eight years. He and his wife work as programmers in a company in Shenzhen. His father is employed at a construction site, and his mother assists in caring for his daughter. Despite living in a small house located in an urban village in the city, the family of five finds that being surrounded by loved ones fuels their motivation to work harder.

"Chenchen is enrolled in a public lower kindergarten class in Shenzhen," said Chen Wen. Since her birth, she has lived with them, and his hope for her is to grow up in a healthy and happy environment.

Li Aiying, who was sharing the same carriage, was busy taking care of her nine-year-old daughter and two-year-old son. When she boarded the train, she carried her son on her back in a carrier made with her red scarf. In one hand, she clutched her luggage, and with the other, she firmly grasped her daughter's hand. She was headed to Chenghai District, Shantou City, where her husband and relatives had already arrived for work. Her face lit up with a smile as she shared that the family would soon be together again.

Setting a small goal and maintaining confidence in accomplishing it

As the train journeyed toward the destination, the migrant workers, previously strangers to one another, gradually started getting acquainted.

"Hu Jinhua, what's inside your bulging woven bag?" Fellow passengers inquired, their curiosity piqued.

"Why don't you take a guess? I bet you have some too." "Could it be preserved meat and sausages?"

"You've got it. But I assure you that my meat is heavier than yours. It's about 7.5 to eight kilograms," boasted Hu Jinhua, a local Chengdu man in his early 50s from Jintang County. He has been running a lucrative printing shop in Fenggang Town, Dongguan City for more than a decade. "I earned 180,000 yuan last year and for this year, my goal is to reach an income of 200,000 yuan."

Hu has a well-defined plan for his goal, that is, developing new customers while maintaining old ones. "Maybe I cannot completely attain my goal, but I must remain confident about it," he said. In addition to preserved meat and sausages, he also brought a box of oranges for his friends who did not return to their hometown Sichuan for the Spring Festival.

Liu Anlin in the same carriage took out a bag of oranges to share with his fellow passengers. "They are from my own garden and incredibly sweet." Liu, in his 50s, has worked for more than 10 years in a shoe factory in Houjie Town, Dongguan City. He has also set a small goal for himself this year: "I aim to earn 100,000 yuan by the end of the year."

Passengers chatted about their daily work and shared their expectations for the new year, filling the carriage with an air of joy.

Considerate services ensure a convenient and warm journey

Each of the migrant workers received a free bento near noon. The meal included a delightful Sichuan-style stew featuring mutton with radish, served with steaming hot rice.

Although the dish is a little spicy for Cai Xiaodong, a native of Heyuan in Guangdong, he has grown accustomed to the flavor. His wife is from Pujiang County, Chengdu City, and has worked in Heyuan for many years. This year, the couple and their eight-year-old daughter spent their Spring Festival holiday in Pujiang, where they had a delightful time participating in traditional folk activities at Xilai Ancient Town and picking mandarin oranges at a local orchard. "Sichuan is imbued with a festive ambiance during the Spring Festival." Cai remarked that the special return-to-work train service was convenient and thoughtful, imparting to him a profound sense of the concern and care Sichuan holds for its migrant labor force.

To secure attentive and considerate services for Sichuan migrant workers taking the free return-to-work special train, Chengdu East Railway Station specially established a green channel on that day. Furthermore, specific staff members were assigned to offer guidance and support services. A designated rest area in the waiting zone was also set up for the comfort of these passengers. The entire process, from waiting to boarding the train, was streamlined to take approximately 10 minutes for migrant workers.

An increasing number of migrant workers are expected to return to their jobs. As of February 21, a total of 6,501,112 migrant workers had returned to their jobs following the Spring Festival holiday in Sichuan, including 2,428,920 returning to cities within the province and 4,072,192 to cities outside the province. The province has deployed 5,002 dedicated vehicles for migrant workers returning to work, serving 140,229 person-times, 29 return-to-work special trains (carriages), serving 23,603 person-times, and 10 chartered airplanes, serving 1,281 person-times.

 
 
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