Sample of labor migration in the era of mechanization: cotton pickers on k4756 visits
because mechanized planting has been widely used in Northern Xinjiang, a few areas in southern Xinjiang, such as Kashgar, Aksu and other places, have become the last "gold rush" for cotton workersEditor's note
Xinjiang is the most important cotton planting area in China. In 2017, the total cotton output in Xinjiang was 4.56 million tons, accounting for 74.4% of the country
the latest statistics show that the cotton output in Xinjiang may increase to 5.24 million tons in 2018
for a long time in the past, cotton was mainly picked manually. When the local labor force in Xinjiang cannot meet the market demand, from the end of August to the middle of September every year, a large number of labor forces from rural areas in the central and western regions gather in Xinjiang by means of railways, road buses and so on
in 2008 alone, about 600000 workers from Henan, Hubei, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Gansu and other provinces came to Xinjiang to engage in cotton picking. After about two months of hard work, they can obtain labor remuneration ranging from 7000 to 10000 yuan per capita, which is not a small income for farmers
with the large-scale promotion of machine cotton picking in Xinjiang in recent years, in this competition between hands and machines, therefore, it is necessary to equip with a tensile machine with a large stroke for testing the tensile properties of flexible packaging materials. Where will the cotton workers go? In September, 2018, the 21st Century Business Herald followed a temporary special train specially opened for cotton pickers to Xinjiang to understand their true stories. (Wang Feng)
in Xinjiang at the end of August, 10000 mu of cotton bloomed and cracked bolls and bolls from south to north. Thousands of miles away, cotton workers also carry their bags into Xinjiang, following the rhythm of cotton maturity, picking flowers and cotton all the way from southern to northern Xinjiang
Chengdu North railway station is the second largest marshalling station built by the national railway at present, and it is also the main gathering place for cotton workers from Sichuan, Chongqing and Yunnan provinces and cities to go west to Xinjiang
as in previous years, Chengdu Railway Bureau has opened more temporary trains to Urumqi to meet the centralized travel needs of cotton workers. The railway department predicts that 100000 people may go to Xinjiang from here this year
on September 9, the 21st Century Business Herald boarded the k4756 passenger train. With the cotton workers, the tear strength value is generally related to the sample shape, tensile speed and experimental temperature, and embarked on the journey to Xinjiang
"labeled" cotton pickers
the train leaving at 22:30 will arrive at Urumqi station after 37 hours of operation. The waiting room of Chengdu North Railway Station at 21:00 was already crowded
among the crowd, cotton pickers often have the image of "labeling": most of them carry huge parcels higher than themselves and carry household appliances, among which the largest number are women aged 40-60. Their men are basically migrant workers all year round. They stay at home and use the two months of slack farming to pick cotton in Xinjiang to subsidize their families
it is even easy to distinguish old cotton workers from new cotton workers from their behavior. On his first trip, he kept looking around, curious about the environment of the waiting room, and kept looking at the entrance: in case he missed the time of entering the station, wouldn't he miss the train
experienced cotton workers often choose to close their eyes at this time - after all, they still have to "sit" for 37 hours to get to XinjiangThe k4756 temporary passenger train is an old-fashioned electrified green train. After getting on the bus, the steward kept reminding passengers not to use it when charging, so as to avoid faults caused by voltage changes
in order to save costs, most employers choose to buy hard seat tickets for cotton workers. The hard seat is 290.5 yuan, three people in a row, facing each other. If you want to change a hard sleeper, you need to pay 235 yuan by yourself. No one is willing to spend more money. The cotton workers didn't seem to mind such a journey. From boarding to sitting down, their smiles hung on their faces. After all, in the distance, there was an income they could look forward to
at night, many people soon fell asleep shoulder to shoulder. The smoking place between the carriages has become a night gathering place for men, who often stay here for several hours
soon, the iron drawer box was filled with cigarette butts, and the conductor emptied it again and again, and it was soon filled. However, no matter where we talk, we will eventually return to the topics of "where are you from", "where are you going to Xinjiang" and "what work do you have when you go?"
60 year old Zhang came from Pingshan County, Yibin City, Sichuan Province to pick cotton in Aksu. Talking about why he had to work out, Lao Zhang sighed that there was more rain this year, and his crops failed to sell at a good price, so he still had to go to Xinjiang to make money to supplement his family. Moreover, with the extensive use of mechanized cotton picking in Xinjiang, there are not many opportunities left for Lao Zhang to earn "extra money" in the future
under the background of labor shortage and increasing employment costs, Xinjiang has accelerated the promotion of mechanical cotton picking in recent years. As mechanized planting has been widely used in Northern Xinjiang, a few areas in southern Xinjiang, such as Kashgar, Aksu and other places, have become the last "gold rush" for cotton workers
Lao Zhang and his wife have gone to Xinjiang to pick cotton for 10 years. He spread out his hands to the 21st century economic report. Due to years of picking, the hard calyx of cotton cut his fingers, leaving fine scars
when asked about his income, Lao Zhang said, "an old man like me can pick 40 or 50 kilograms a day. Young people are about 80 kilograms. If you pack food and accommodation, you can earn 1.8 yuan by picking a kilogram of cotton. Last year, due to the urgent shortage of manpower in Southern Xinjiang, the wages were relatively high, and you can get 2..7 yuan by picking a kilogram."
when the night is deeper, as long as there is space under the seat, on the aisle and at the junction of the carriage, there are people lying down. Zhou Deming, 40, and his wife didn't buy hard seat tickets. He used newspapers to occupy a place at the door of the carriage and took turns to rest with his wife. "You can't both leave, otherwise this position is someone else's", Zhou Deming said
the savings of the cotton workers were also noticed by the conductor. At lunch time the next day, the waiter of k4756 train pushed the dining car to walk several times in each hard seat carriage, but the sales of 30 yuan lunch was not good. He told the 21st Century Business Herald that because this train was mainly migrant workers, "they were all very economical, and everyone preferred instant noodles"
go to Bayingolin to pick chili
in carriage 16 near the dining car, the passengers are all from the same place - Pingshan County, Yibin City, Sichuan Province. In 2017, the average income of the local rural population was 11778 yuan. Due to insufficient industrial support, even under the background of the influx of migrant workers in Sichuan Province, the local government is still exporting labor in an organized way
according to the work report of Pingshan County Government in 2018, this year will "establish a database of migrant workers, build a diversified employment platform, and achieve 65000 transferred jobs, of which organized output accounts for no less than 5%"
19-year-old Xiao Shunshui and his 40 year old mother, as well as more than 40 people in the same village, were sitting in carriage 16. 21st Century Business Herald learned after communicating with many passengers that most of them no longer go to Xinjiang to pick cotton. Especially under the background that the popularization rate of machine picking cotton in Northern Xinjiang has been close to 90% this year, these former cotton workers have found another job in Xinjiang - picking pepper
in fact, these migrant workers who "lost in the competition between man and machine will automatically stop moving the beam; come down" can find a new job in Xinjiang, which is also related to the industrial adjustment in some regions of Xinjiang
take the Bayingolin Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture where Xiao Shunshui and his fellow villagers are going as an example. Due to the influence of precipitation and soil environment, the quality of cotton planted in local counties such as Bohu, Yanqi, Hejing and Heshuo is not high. After studying the local agricultural characteristics, the local government made the strategy of "eliminating white and expanding red", that is, reducing cotton planting and increasing pepper and tomato planting with better economic benefits
according to the data, in 2017, the planting area of pepper and tomato in Bohu County alone was close to 160000 mu. Because some pepper varieties failed to realize mechanized picking, these "unemployed" cotton workers were given new opportunities
compared with picking cotton, Xiao Shunshui prefers picking pepper. "The cotton field is low, so you must always bend down to work every day, and you also need to pack the cotton back to the ground to weigh, so you can get an income," Xiao Shunshui said. "The pepper field is high, and after picking a full bag of pepper, there is a special person nearby to handle it."
the pricing methods of cotton picking and pepper picking are also different. Cotton is counted by kilogram, while pepper is counted by meter. In 2017, the wage for picking a one meter long pepper field was 70 cents, while the 900 meter to 1 kilometer pepper field "has become the target of many auto manufacturers", so employers usually contract workers by ditch, and the price is about 700 yuan
it is not easy to get 700 yuan. "I need to work for more than 12 hours a day for threeorfour consecutive days to finish picking a ditch," Xiao Shunshui said
"every time I pick a pepper, I get an income." Xu suqiong, 46, told the 21st Century Business Herald that she roughly calculated that if she wanted to pick a bag of peppers, she would have to repeat her work at least a thousand times. For every 20 to 30 peppers, she could earn about 3 cents
in order to finish the pepper picking before the frost period, she and her companions get up at 5 o'clock every day, continue picking after lunch in the field at noon, and don't finish work until 10 p.m. at the latest, and even 12 p.m. in the busiest season
Xu suqiong spoke very fast. She said that many villagers did not go to Xinjiang anymore, because with the reduction and exemption of agricultural taxes and the increase of grain purchase prices, the income of domestic farmers was also increasing. However, Xu suqiong was finally moved by the "extra cash" in front of her. "Farmers do their jobs as soon as they have jobs, and they pay attention to city people"
"basically every meal is steamed bread, white gourd and cabbage, and you can eat meat once a week", Xu suqiong said. But everyone seems not to complain about the food. In their eyes, what they can see is the income of 8000 yuan or even 10000 yuan two months later
the confusion of a generation of migrant workers
whether it's picking cotton or pepper, for most rural people, going to Xinjiang to work, the income in two months is almost the same as the annual per capita income, which is a very worthwhile job
taking wanwo village, Jinping Town, Pingshan County, Yibin City, Sichuan Province, where Xiao Shunshui is located, as an example, the main local economic crops are crisp plum and tea. Usually, after picking crisp plums in the month, tea leaves are not picked until the end of October. There were almost two months of free time in the middle, so a large number of farmers went to Xinjiang to subsidize their families
in Xiao Shunshui's family, his father usually works as a mason at the surrounding construction site, while his mother takes care of plum trees and tea trees at home, and goes out to Xinjiang to work every month
but the price of cash crops is higher and lower year by year, and the income of the family cannot be guaranteed. This year, the purchase price of crisp plums in Yibin is low, and the opening price is still more than two yuan a kilo, but the market has been going down all the way, and finally only sold more than one yuan. Compared with the market of four or five yuan last year, the Xiao family's harvest this year is not ideal
the tea planting amount of Xiao family is not large, and the annual income of 10000 yuan is mostly used to pay for the pesticides for planting plum trees