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Friday, May 08, 2009

Day 3 in Hong Kong

I'm a bit disappointed that I missed going into mainland China. For all my talk about avoiding the flu police I really miss getting to visit Shenzhen. It's so gritty and I wanted to show you factory photos - well I guess if I really wanted to do that I could recycle those from past visits. But I always come away from China with a story to tell - even if it's just the terrifying taxi ride with the mesh gate between backseat and driver that is broken and shards of metal are pointed at my head and the seat belt is broken and I live in terror of an accident. Well that's a true story and hardly something to look forward to but it's a story.

So let's see, the factory manager came to visit us and things hummed along as usual until we got on the topic of recent Disney lay offs (since we are in the business of such production). I casually mention that lay offs in the US are typically done in one day and there is no compensation package for the average worker. Both my HK GM and the factory GM were shocked out of their seats. Here is a direct quote that shows a Chinese perspective (said in an outraged, shocked tone):

How can Disney - DISNEY! a company that touts social values - force social compliance on Chinese factories that require them to provide compensation packages to layed off workers yet in the US lay off employee's with no compensation beyond the last day worked?

She was pissed - well naturally, she spends her days trying to comply with Disney standards. Why should they have a different standard for China?

Render me momentarily speechless until I stumble to explain it's great to live in America - the land of the free but when one loses a job it is easy to envy our neighbors who provide better social services in the way of health care, maternity leave, etc. When you have a job it's like I want all of my money and let me determine how I want to spend it thank you very much!

So here I am in the hotel room - again - having room service because I'm too grumpy to sit in a restaurant by myself at 9pm at night. Earlier and I don't care but I like to settle in at this hour. I did however pop out for a few photos while waiting for food to arrive.

Here is a view directly outside my hotel facing the harbor:

Sorry it's not the most exciting shot. I'll spend the weekend looking for more interesting Hong Kong photos.

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