Times are hard and are getting harder.
The BBC are reporting some serious job losses in China and I copy a recent BBC report that is not good news for China Gateway.
"Tens of thousands of migrant workers are leaving the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou after losing their jobs, railway officials say. The increase to 130,000 passengers leaving the city's main station daily is being blamed on the credit crunch.
Guangzhou is one of China's largest manufacturing hubs, but many companies who export products have collapsed.
Chinese officials are worried that a sudden increase in unemployment could lead to social unrest.
The most badly hit export companies are toy, shoe, and furniture manufacturers.
There are already reports of demonstrations and social unrest in the provinces of Zhejiang and Guangdong.
An upsurge of labour disputes caused by bankruptcies and layoffs this week forced the boom-town of Shenzhen to issue an urgent notice calling for government departments and enterprises to work together to reduce tension.
BBC China analyst Shirong Chen says there would be a ripple effect in many inner regions of China too - the earthquake-hit Sichuan Province has 1.3m working in Shenzhen.
For the Chongqing municipality, three million migrant workers used to send home millions of US dollars' worth of local currency every year, but this source of funding is dwindling to a trickle. "
For those who are wondering why a pic of 'Our Leader' is shown here, let me explain.
There are also clearly tough times ahead for TDC employees if 'Our Leader' isn't happy with unions wanting to start pay negotiations at 3%. At a very recent Cabinet Meeting, 'Our Leader' is reported to have said , "In my own personal business (Northdown Carpets) I've already told the few staff I have, that they will not be getting a pay rise". At least his staff can be thankful that they still have their jobs as he flits off to nautical pursuits in the Med.
I should imagine the 100s of thousands making their way home without any 'Benefit' support in China are wondering if 'The Great Step Backward' could be replaced with another 'Great Leap Forward'. I hope China will remain a stable society.
Meanwhile, in Cliftonville, our local carpet staff must just grit their teeth and hope that they do not have to 'march-home'; a cut in pay, in real terms, is better than no job. I can hear words from my youth echoing in my head " Its the same the whole world over, Its the rich that get's the pleasure, Its the poor what gets the blame.............".