Cross-boundary Work and its Impact on Family: A Study of the Transport Logistics Industry Workers Working between Hong Kong and China
Globalization and economic development in the People's Republic of China have meant that more and more Hong Kong workers are facing the reality of commuting between China and Hong Kong as part of their work arrangement. How workers adjust to the work culture in China, as well as how to balance their work with family becomes an important issue. This paper, based on in-depth interviews of 45 workers from the transport and logistics industry working between Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta Region, China, analyses how cross-boundary work impacts on workers' family life and the provision of family care. The nature of cross-boundary work in the logistic industry is highly competitive and demanding, which requires workers spent considerable amount of time in China, and often face great work pressure. This has undermined the families of these workers. In addition, the work culture in China emphasizes entertaining, often in bars, massage parlors and nightclubs, clients and partners to secure businesses deals and transactions. This has led to an increase of extra-martial affairs and sexual infidelity. Family violence among these workers is high. This paper discusses these issues and challenges the Hong Kong government to implement family friendly policies and assistance.
Keywords: Cross-boundary Work, Work Culture, Family, China
Dr. Hong-kin Kwok
Assistant Professor, Department of Politics and Sociology, Lingnan University, Tuen Mun