Street cleaner Liu Yongliang is either the model Chinese worker, or an example of the daily exploitation thousands face in a country without sufficient insurance for employees.
Feeling himself coming down with a cold, and with a vicious headache, Liu went into a hospital in the hopes that he could get treatment before National Day on October 1st. However, when doctors were unable to help him, and knowing there was no-one to cover for him, he sneaked out of the hospital with an intravenous drip… and carried on working.
Liu makes a monthly income of 1,800 RMB per month (including overtime and bonuses) but sends 1,000 RMB of that home to his family. When asked why he didn’t take a break, he said he’d be doing nothing at home anyway. A woman interviewed in the above clip from CCTV 13 said she was “So touched by his work ethic.”
However, netizens pointed out that if Liu were to take the day off he would most likely have his pay cut. Furong District Environmental Bureau chief Li Jing confirmed that Liu could have taken a break, but this would have impacted his pay and his performance bonus would have been transferred to his replacement.
(Additional reporting by Kenneth Tan)