Old sanitation worker in video fired from job
Updated: 2012-02-17 16:17
Li Xianmei, a 72-year-old sanitation worker, sits at home in Woyang county, East China's Anhui province after she lost her job. She hopes to return to her job, which she and her granddaughter need to live on. [Photo/CFP]
Li Xianmei, a 72-year-old sanitation worker, who became popular online after a video clip about her daily life was uploaded, was fired from her job, Xin'an Evening News reported.
Li lost her job in Woyang county, Anhui province on Feb 13. She had held the job since March 2011, waking up at 3 am each morning. Her daily routine remained unchanged: heating up leftovers for her breakfast, wrapping her 6-year-old granddaughter in blankets and three bottles of hot water before riding out in darkness to sweep a 150-meter street that she was in charge of, working while keeping an eye on her granddaughter lying on her tricycle, then waking her up after work at 7 am and feeding her breakfast at a street vendor before sending her off to kindergarten. Li's life was made into a video by a local TV station, which then became popular on the Internet and moved many people.
Li fired soon after she was interviewed
"I was told to hand in the brooms and the cleaning bike, and to not come to work the next day on the afternoon of Feb 13, which confused me," said Li Xianmei. "My neighbors think the video may have brought heavy pressure upon my sanitation unit, which finally made me lose my job." Li said the job is very important to her. She and her granddaughter live on her 800 yuan (about $127) a month salary.
Official denies connection
Authorities from the county's sanitation department told Xin'an Evening News on Feb 16 by phone that Li's dismissal had nothing to do with any outside factor. "She is 70 years old. It is too hard-hearted to let her continue toilsome work while bringing along her granddaughter," an officer surnamed Zhang said. "We are applying to get low-income welfare for her."