From the Chinese Press
Updated: 2013-08-23 08:30
Protect sanitation workers
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.
Move to keep public toilets clean
From Sept 1, Shenzhen residents can use toilets in government organizations and institutions for free. But an article in the gazette of the Shenzhen government in Guangdong province that says anyone who soils a toilet would be fined 100 yuan ($16.34) has sparked a public debate, according to Southern Metropolis Daily. Excerpts:
Finding a public toilet in Chinese cities is a problem. The Shenzhen government's decision to open toilets in government offices for public use will certainly help alleviate the city residents' problem.
Public toilets should be kept clean so we should not waste time debating over the fine to be imposed on people who soil toilets. After all, the authorities have to take some steps to regulate people's behavior in public places, including public toilets.
The real purpose of the fine is to help build a better social atmosphere, not to punish people unnecessarily. There is a gap between urban development and civilized behavior, and the fine is intended to bridge that gap. If the authorities warn people in advance and prompt them to use public toilets properly, there will be no need to impose fine on them.
So instead of debating on the drawbacks of the regulation, people should try to follow normal codes of public conduct. We should remember that the regulation is aimed at maintaining order and cleanliness in public places.
(China Daily 08/23/2013 page9)