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February 3, 2010

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Ayis in short supply as holiday exodus begins

LOCAL household service companies have expressed concern about a shortage of hourly-paid ayis, after 70 to 80 percent of them began to head home for the Spring Festival.

The shortage will last to the end of the month, companies said.

Xia Jun, director of the Jialilai Household Service Co Ltd, said: "Usually 50 percent of hourly-paid ayis would stay in Shanghai for the festival, and would have a break for only two to three days."

Xia said the reason for the difference this year was due to a change in the ticket selling system. "This year the real-name registration for railway tickets makes it harder for some ayis to buy a ticket home," he said.

With the new system, home-stay ayis don't have the time to apply for their tickets in person. On the other hand, the system has made it easier for hourly-paid ayis to collect tickets during times when they are not working.

Companies are finding it difficult to find replacements for hourly-paid ayis.

"When we are short of home-stay ayis, we would introduce hourly-paid ones to the family, but it's impossible for us to get home-stay ayis to do part-time jobs," Xia said.


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