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Protect sanitation workers

China Daily | Updated: 2013-08-23 08:30

Guangzhou residents have started a campaign to supply drinking water to the city's sanitation workers who have to work for hours under the scorching sun. But sanitation workers have other, more serious, complaints. For example, they say some sanitation companies have prohibited them from wearing straw hats because they "tarnish" the city's image. Such regulations should be banned because they violate workers' rights and interests, says an article in Procuratorial Daily. Excerpts:

Sanitation workers are vulnerable to sunstroke because they have to work under the scorching sun in summer. In fact, some of them have suffered sunstroke and even died.

Sanitation workers who keep our cities clean should be provided with gear to protect them against extreme weather. Instead of doing so, some sanitation companies have made them vulnerable to heatstroke by stopping them from wearing straw hats in the streets just because they think it would "tarnish" the city's image. This is a serious act that jeopardizes workers' safety.

Sanitation companies have the obligation of protecting their workers' safety. But by prohibiting workers from wearing straw hats without giving them proper alternative gear to protect them from the sun, sanitation companies have failed to fulfill their responsibility.

Guangzhou authorities should direct such companies to change their regulations in order to guarantee the protection of sanitation workers. The sooner the authorities direct the companies to do so the more workers they will save from suffering sunstroke.

(China Daily 08/23/2013 page9)

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