It has never been an easy job working in a Chinese restaurant.  Whether you were a cook, waiter, busboy, the hours were long, the pay was low, and the working conditions poor.  The earlier source of this labor was primarily from Guangdong and the cuisine was Cantonese but after President Nixon's ping pong diplomacy in the early 1970s broke through the Bamboo Curtain, a shift toward another impoverished province, Fujian, as the primary source of labor rapidly expanded. And, they introduced a different cuisine from the overly familiar Americanized versions of Cantonese cooking.  But the fundamental problems of the Chinese restaurant workforce seems to have not improved with this changing of the guard.

       Lauren Hilgers, a business journalist who writes often about social and political issues in China, discusses the
plight of the Fujianese workers in Chinese restaurants in this article.