There are two contrasting stories this week on the treatment of sanitation workers: in China a local restaurant treats 180 of them to a free lunch, while in Gaza they go on strike after having received no pay for over six months.
Sanitation workers in China get low pay, have poor working conditions and work long hours. Mr. Li, a restaurant owner in Chengdu, decided it was time to show some appreciation for their hard work, especially now as temperatures were dropping. He offered over 180 local sanitation workers a free lunch; they were “encouraged to order whatever they wanted, including alcohol”, writes Dina Li in the Shanghaiist.
The free lunch was also a compensation for the mess created when Mr Li opened his new restaurant and employees distributed more than 100,000 leaflets, most of which ended up on the streets for sanitation workers to clean up.
How differently sanitation workers are treated in the Gaza Strip. Since the formation of the Palestinian unity government in June 2014, they have not received any pay. This has spurred a strike with severe consequences for the health care system. The accumulation of large piles of waste and garbage has forced the Al-Shifa Hospital to stop all work in their operation and emergency rooms.
Deputy Minister of Health, Yusuf Abu Al-Reesh warned of dangerous health conditions inside the hospitals and medical centres in Gaza since staff from the private sanitation companies went on strike.
- Dina Li, Chengdu hotpot restaurant treats over 180 sanitation workers to free lunch, Shanghaiist, 5 Dec 2014
- Gaza sanitation workers’ strike stalls hospital operations, Middle East Monitor, 4 Dec 2014