Chinese Tesla Supplier CATL Offers Bonus for Workers Skipping Lunar New Year Holiday

Workers at Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., China’s biggest maker of batteries for electric cars and a Tesla Inc. supplier, can make a bit of extra money over the Lunar New Year, so long as they forgo their holiday.

A recruitment post on a job-hunting website that was verified by CATL is offering pay of as much as 13,100 yuan ($2,000) for February, more than double the usual, if workers agree to be present the whole month. China’s Lunar New Year starts on Feb. 11 and runs to Feb. 18. It’s a time when almost everyone returns to their hometown to visit family, although that mass movement will be complicated this year by the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more: China’s Coal Miners May Have to Forgo Holidays to Ease Crunch

It’s a serious sweetener, considering the average monthly income in the southeastern coastal city of Ningde in Fujian province where CATL is headquartered is around 6,460 yuan, provincial statistics department data show.

CATL is coming off a bumper 2020. Like other electric-vehicle suppliers, it caught the attention of investors who pushed its Shenzhen-listed shares up 230%.

Last month, it said it would invest 39 billion yuan in three battery projects that, according to China International Capital Corp. analysts, should help it expand output by 120-150 GWh over the next two to four years to meet rising demand. CATL also returned to sales and profit growth after the Covid-19 outbreak eased in China.

BloombergNEF analyst Daixin Li said working over the holiday may have more to do with China’s government not wanting to encourage travel in order to minimize the risk of the virus spreading. “Paying more money to attract people to stay in their working cities and keep working during the holiday is one of the major measures adopted by most companies,” she said.

A representative for CATL suggested it was a mix of both. “On the one hand, in response to the call for pandemic prevention, we are encouraging our employees to better protect themselves,” a spokesman said.

“On the other, we are working on guaranteeing normal production and market supply during the traditional holiday,” he said, adding that the company would put on some cultural events to make employees “feel at home.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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