Surgeries postponed as hospital cleaners on strike

ABOUT 200 cleaning workers in Shanghai Xinhua Hospital went on strike this morning over unpaid social insurances and lack of welfare, leaving hundreds of patients unattended and postponing surgeries.

The strike began around 8am when the cleaners gathered outside the hospital's administrative building to protest against their employer, a cleaning company, for working overtime and not paid social insurances since 2002.

The company and the workers held a round of negotiation in the morning but didn't reach an agreement. The ongoing strike has forced the hospital to postpone surgeries.

The workers said the Jichen Cleaning Company, forced them to work nine hours a day and doubled their workload at the weekend. Each cleaner was given only seven days off per month, one day less than the social average.

They also said their average income was less than 1,400 yuan (US$221) a month.


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