Mass Layoffs Announced in the Coal and Steel Industries
According to Yin Weimin, Minister for Human Resources and Social Security, 1.8 million workers in the coal and steel industries will be laid off as part of the government’s efforts to curb industrial overcapacity and pollution. However, other sources say as many as five to six million workers could lose their jobs. The so-called ‘zombie’ state firms will be the main target of the restructuring, with the Chinese government attempting to cut capacity gluts in as many as seven sectors, including cement, glassmaking, and shipbuilding. This is likely to become China’s most significant industrial retrenchment since the restructuring of state-owned enterprises and mass layoff of state-sector workers in the late 1990s. The Chinese government will spend one hundred and fifty billion yuan to deal with the social and economic consequences of this latest wave of layoffs in the next few years.