A street sweeper in Xi’an who was fired after being spotted warming himself up next to a fire on the street recently got his job back after his story attracted attention on the Chinese web.
According to Xinhua News, the 58-year-old street sweeper, surnamed Ding, is originally from Datong, Shanxi province. Nearly a year ago, he moved to Xi’an to take care of his grandchildren and started to work as a street cleaner. Earning only 1,550 RMB per month, Ding got fired after he was told off by one of his supervisors for warming his fingers up near a fire on the street. Ding’s employer, Gold Medal Property Management, discharged Ding for violating rules of the company, including posting environmental and safety hazards during work.
After Ding’s story was reported, many netizens sympathized with the street cleaner, calling the decision to fire him ‘cruel’ and ‘inappropriate’. State media also appealed for more understanding and tolerance towards Ding outside rigid company regulations.
Following public pressure, Ding’s company posted a statement on their website explaining Ding’s dismissal, and eventually withdrew their decision.
Sanitation workers are known to endure some of the worst working conditions in China. Fed up with measly pay and long hours, hundreds of cleaners in Guangzhou province have held a series of strikes in recent years.
By Shirley Zhang