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China: Around The Nation

Chinese city locks street cleaners out of their own shelters

Street cleaners’ lounges in Zhengzhou are always locked unless there is an inspection visit from government officials, workers say

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 December, 2016, 3:19pm
UPDATED : Monday, 26 December, 2016, 3:19pm

Most lounges for street cleaners in a central Chinese city are locked unless there’s an inspection from supervising departments, mainland media reports.

The lounges are supposed to provide the cleaners a place to take rest breaks, eat or shelter from the weather, which at this time of the year in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province, drops to an average of about 2 Celsius with rain and snow.

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But as the lounges are locked, the street cleaners must brave the elements, according to a report on Hnr.cn, the province’s major news portal, which shows some of the workers holding umbrellas in heavy rain and seeking shelter at bus stops.

A male cleaner said the lounges had been closed since they were built, and that the cleaners had never been allowed inside them. Other cleaners said the only time they got to sit in the lounges was during inspection visits from supervising departments.

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A woman supervisor of the cleaners said the cleaners had to remain in the area they were responsible for even after they finished work. The cleaners were not allowed to stand still, let alone take rest breaks in the lounges, she added.

She said the rooms had been labelled cleaners’ lounges only to avoid theft.

The article said the lounges were used to store tools.