CCTV Anti-Littering Message After Death of Sanitation Worker

A sanitation worker in China sweeping up litter.
A sanitation worker in China sweeping up litter.

From Sina Weibo:

@央视新闻 [CCTV]: Again! Sanitation Worker Falls Ill And Dies From Overwork [泪] Forward This For Them! — Wherever it is the most dirty, that is where they are, squatting on the side of roads eating boxed meals. This is Wuhan city sanitation worker Zhu Guoxi. On the 24th, he suddenly coughed up blood and collapsed, and passed away two days later. On his hospital bed, he even said, “I have to get back to work…” Do you know? A lot of sanitation workers have to bustle about all because of littered garbage. From this moment on, refuse to litter! For Worker Zhu, and for all sanitation workers! Those in support, forward this on!

Comments from Sina Weibo:


Once again, I strongly suggest increasing the wages for sanitation workers! Those in agreement, ding this up!


Hehe, my mom has been a sanitation worker. Every day she was ordered around by those so-called managers, who also constantly carped on her, yelling at her if she were a little late in the morning or at noon. While you’re here asking us to forward this, stop tooting your own horn [making yourself sound better]. When sanitation workers go into work early, it isn’t because they’re afraid of the city being dirty, it’s because they’re afraid of a bunch of dogs barking behind them. Littering garbage is shameful, but shifting responsibility is is abominable.


Motherfucker, what the fuck use is forwarding these things? If you’re not going to increase their pay, don’t come out and spout bullshit.


While researching wage increases for public servants, why not research increasing wages for sanitation workers while you’re at it?


Every month, sanitation workers get the lowest pay to do the dirtiest and most tiring work. If you, the government, aren’t going to increase their wages, stop fucking prattling here!!!


Increase their pay!


Stupid cunt! Why don’t you first increase compensation and medical care for sanitation workers first?! [Instead] the money is basically all taken by the sanitation companies!


All day having us forward [this and that], can you give it a rest? Shouldn’t you be promoting increases in pay? Or is death from overwork not related to amount of time worked?


Why not increase the income for this position/occupation?


They are all just temporary workers employed by the actual sanitation workers, with the actual sanitation workers being their bosses, and it is like this everywhere. Go investigate which of those sweeping the streets every day are the actual sanitation workers, and what the actual sanitation workers are doing.

READ  Jackie Chan Says Hong Kong Protests Too Much, Needs Limits

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • Disney English

    How could anyone get that tired from picking up pieces of paper and plastic bottles? #overworkedorjustplainlazy

    • Don’t Believe the Hype

      more likely he died due to not wearing a face mask while sweeping dirt from the road. That gets in your lungs long enough and you are bound to get sick.

      • mr.wiener

        hmm… yes. I don’t think you suddenly start coughing up blood and dying from over work.

    • Dax


    • lacompacida

      Try do that for 10 hours straight.

  • SongYii

    hey, i dont.want to be an asshole and eat up the thread with non-topical stuff, but… im going to. does anyone know if the visa medical exam involves a drug test? i know they collect urine but i dont know what they must use it for.


    • Ken Morgan

      They look for contagious diseases stuff like hep, TB and STDs. Considering the idiot teaching at Anhui university I mentioned is a heroin user and smokes a kilo of weed every week…I do however expect him to be deported sooner or later as he’s on a tourist visa and there have been noises about drug testing Z visa holders at random. He was deported from Taiwan a few years ago.

      • lacompacida

        Testing contagious diseases from urine ? May be kidney infection.

        • Ken Morgan

          No there are multiple tests:

          Blood test for HIV and STDs.

          Ultra sound to check your organs don’t have cancerous growths on them.

          Chest X-ray to check for TB

          Physical ENT check for abnormalities and or abscesses

          ECG to check for heart problems.
          Quite recently there was a woman asking for help to leave China on another forum. She found a job and was offered a Z visa. She failed the medical as they found lesions in her lungs and some on her liver. The lung lesions indicated tuberculosis which was an instant medical failure. The company rescinded the job offer and she failed to get the visa and was asked to leave China.

          • Jahar

            Im moderately certain the std testing doesn’t go much beyond HIV. I kNow several people with incurable stds, and they have since gotten visas.

            Also, in an unrelated medical test, i asked what the tests included, and hep c wasnt in there either. He said they never test for that because it’s not a problem.

        • SongYii

          gonnorrhea and chlamydia are both urine tests.

      • hess

        How the hell does one afford heroin on a TEFL salary? lol

        • Ken Morgan

          He can’t his dad regularly pays money into his bank accounts.

          • hess

            Sounds like a classy guy

        • vincent_t

          it might be fake heroin purchased from taobao

      • donscarletti

        And this is why we have to keep reading about evil “laowai” every week. Because quite frankly, the percentage of expatriates who are like this would be a quarter of the total at least.

        My girlfriend is an administrator at a bilingual school and it seems like every week there is an incident of a “teacher” simply not showing up for class without notifying the school because he is hung over, stoned and/or recovering from a fight. This is what China is seeing of the rest of the world, not even just folks who’ll have a couple of beers or a joint on Friday night, but alcoholics, potheads and junkies.

        If people want to live like this, they should do it at home and spare their country the diplomatic hassle at least.

        • SongYii

          Maybe a quarter of laowai teachers; not expats overall.

          Actually, its astonishing to me how many laowai are alcoholics. I guess people who steal away to live in other countries, particularly Asia, are higher risk takers.

        • LuoyangLaowai

          What else does China expect. Correct me if Im wrong, But as far as I know. China is the only Asian country that allows foreigners to come in without background or credential checks. i dont have any experience with teaching in Japan or S.Korea even Taiwan but I imagine they have a higher quality of expat teaching in those countries because of the checks they do. China will allow anybody to come in and teach. As far as Im concerned. China gets what they Deserve.

    • JayJay

      For a second there, I really thought this was going to be about the Hong Kong protest looking at the pictures. Major let down by Chinasmack…

    • donscarletti

      By national policy they must specifically test for TB including a chest X-Ray and through blood or urine pathology. The specific tests are largely determined by the provincial level sanitation department and do change depending on region. If they collect urine it will be checked for standard health indicators such as sugar and protein, though I doubt they’ll do anything with the results.

  • SongYii

    Street sweepers are probably the most meticulous workers in sight around town. When I bike around at 3 in the morning, shopping districts in Dongguan are completely trashed… by 9am it looks like no one has been around for a week.

    • SimpsonsGoldenAge

      This is what I miss about being back in a developed country, no slave labour to clean up every tiny bit of litter on the street.

      • ClausRasmussen

        >> no slave labour

        Instead we have dirty streets, people living on the dole, and the taxpayers as slave labours.

        I much prefer and respect these hard working sanitarian workers.

        • Alex Dương

          Claus, are you Danish? If so, as someone who has never been to Denmark, I thought Denmark would be pretty clean.

          Also, have you ever seen Scarface?

          • ClausRasmussen

            Yes. I am danish. Denmark is pretty clean outside of the center of the “big” cities (big here equals 1/20 of Beijing)

            I think I’ve seen Scarface, but I don’t remember much of it

          • Alex Dương

            I see.

            I ask because you said “sanitarian workers.” Reminds me of this scene from the film.

          • ClausRasmussen

            Baah… spelling error fixed :)

      • SongYii

        And generally, no need to!

      • vincent_t

        Yeah? Did you ask the guy who needs to wash away the fugly graffiti on trains and everywhere?

  • Rose

    I’ve heard, “If I don’t throw trash on the street, sanitation workers will be out of a job,” as an excuse to keep littering here…lazy excuse. And the cause of death does sound odd. Did he really say he needs to get back to work on his deathbed or is this a LF-like story?

  • JayJay

    Is this picture taken in Hong Kong? I bet the protesters will pick up after they leave (forcibly removed)… lol

  • Middle_Kingdum

    If only the evil overlords in the government would provide the sanitation workers a SOFA!, these untimely deaths might be avoided. (Sorry . couldn’t resist)

  • AbC

    Something smells fishy about this story and it’s not the garbage.

    I’ve never heard of anyone coughing up blood from overwork. Collapsing from tiredness is understandable… but no one seem to have investigated why the worker coughed up blood all of a sudden?

    This report seems to not only misdirect responsibility (died due to working conditions or being overworked by employer rather than too much rubbish), it also feels like it’s deliberately hiding something (not telling the whole story).

    Killing two birds with one stone? Shift blame of death from bad management to the general public, whilst trying to reduce future cleaning costs.

    • Foreign Devil

      So he was dying and he wanted to go back to work? F’ him. . . should work for free then.

  • lacompacida

    I remember all the complains about Singapore’s anti littering fines from Chinese way back when. May be Chinese know a little more about sanitation by now.

  • All of the comments talk about increasing their wages and benefits.
    These folks are considered so important, they are required to stay and work during Spring Festival/Chinese New Year.
    It never dawned on them to ask, “Why are these street cleaners so necessary to begin with?”

    • Jahar

      I like when people excuse their littering by saying they are creating work

  • Amused

    HK boils and we comment on litter. Some subjects too hot?

    • ClausRasmussen

      ChinaSMACK brings stories from the Chinese internet where the protests in Hong Kong are censored

      • Foreign Devil

        Internet is not censored in HK. . .are no people in HK talking about what is happening in their city? Or is HK not considered part of China?

    • Guest

      Too hot for the CCP.

    • Irvin

      I can’t even access yahoo, much less any hk news.

  • MidniteOwl

    So… like how are the streets of Hong Kong lately? Do sanitation workers also get gas masks and stuff to remove blood stains for this ocassion?

    • must touch brain

      Nope. The demonstrators know how to clean up after themselves.

  • nqk123

    so quiet about hong kong

  • vonskippy

    If litter is so bad, and cleaners are so over worked, how hard is it to come up with the idea that more cleaners are needed? Or you know, citizens could just pick up their own shit.

  • LuoyangLaowai

    Died from Overwork?!?! are you fucking serious. Congratulations!!Thats the Bullshit excuse of the year. I bet that was some 3rd rate shitty ass doctors diagnosis too. They may work all day but they are certainly in no way overworked. These sanitation workers walk around at a snails pace and take breaks all day long. This person obviously Died from Something else wrong with them. Especially if they are coughing up blood.

    • Boris

      “This person obviously Died from Something else wrong with them. Especially if they are coughing up blood.”

      Agree with this. Not from overwork but from something else.

      • Foreign Devil

        probably lifelong exposure to car exhaust fumes. . the guy had lung cancer.

  • Gerhana

    one thing i notice about these netizen is that there are always a few that says something fashionable to the group sentiment, and ask for a vote up. I think for these netizen its a popularity contest more than about the actual issue. I doubt the netizen at the top most comment is suddenly going to treat the worker better than before. Seems formulaic…. find issues related to human condition, write some sentimental comment, ask for a vote up, enjoy the popularity.

    • Kai


    • David

      O.K. you got my vote up. lol

  • LALA


  • Donald Med

    The way it works here in China;

    There are “sanitation workers” who are paid well by the government to fulfill contracted street cleaning duties for a given area. These people have a relationship with government officials and are probably mob connected. They then just find some desperate poor people to do the work for them and pay them as little as possible keeping most money for themselves without doing any work apart from yelling at the desperate hirelings to work harder “Or I will dock your pay!” Its illegal but, like everything in China that is illegal but helps the Party and their organized criminal friends suck the blood of the poor, it is ignored by the justice system.

  • don mario

    curious to see what the mainlanders opinion is on the HK situation. i asked a couple of friends and they were very angry about it and anti hong kong.

    • must touch brain

      Me too. I asked several people yesterday if they knew anything about it and they didn’t. Maybe they don’t care because they didn’t see it on the news or read it in the paper. I tried to find a newspaper yesterday with news about HK but the vendors said there were no papers and didn’t know why.

  • YahooHenry

    Someone’s got to clean up after individuals pollute their own environment. The workers need protective clothing, training, health checks and a decent working week. The big question is who will push for this…the litterers or the government agencies?