Building camaraderie through red songs

By Wu Jiachun
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, July 4, 2011
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Every Monday morning, sonorous singing will be heard inside the factory of Kunming Xuelidan Clothing and Accessories, a privately owned company in the capital city of Yunnan Province.

Xing Zhongwei, manager of the production department, says he has sung "red songs" about the Communist Party's leadership during the revolution and founding of the People's Republic for almost 20 years, since he entered the factory as a worker in 1992.

Xue Yongping, president and Party secretary of Xuelidan. [Photo by Wu Jiachun]

"Red songs help the factory grow stronger," said Xue Yongping, president and Party secretary of Xuelidan.

Xue joined the CPC in 1979 and later became the chairman of the factory's labor union. In 1985, to offer more job opportunities to the youth, local authorities set up a clothing factory and named Xue as the head. In the early days, the factory only had two sewing machines, a couple of rulers and several workers. After years of development, it has grown into a share-holding enterprise, with almost 300 people on its payroll and an annual output of some 200,000 garments.

In 1990, after the factory was turned into privately owned share-holding enterprise, Xue proposed to set up a grassroots organ of the Communist Party. For her, it would be a boon to the cohesion and creativity of the factory. In the past 20 years, the number of Party members has grown from three to 30. All of them have become the backbone of Xuelidan.

In 1991, Xuelidian's Party committee began a campaign to sing red songs. Every Monday morning before a staff meeting, all workers gather together and sing two songs.

"Our workers come from different provinces in China," Xue said. By singing red songs, they are drawn together and the factory will grow stronger," said Xue.

Bao Jindong, a worker, said the songs greatly inspire him. Another worker, Gu Xiaolong, said whenever he sung the songs, he would recall the touching experience when his coworkers helped him and his wife through a difficult birth.

A worker from Jiangsu Province who earns 3,000 yuan a month said that although she could set up her own business and become a millionaire, she did not want to leave the factory. "Money is not the only source of happiness," she said. "I can't leave the factory because my colleagues are more like family members to me."

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