HomePhoto AlbumS5 OLE Talk Option for the poor Grass-roots workers in the pandemic

S5 OLE Talk Option for the poor Grass-roots workers in the pandemic

Option for the Poor: Grass-roots Workers in The Pandemic

5P Jeffrey Chan

The Hong Kong Catholic Commission for Labour Affairs shared at school on June 10 on how grassroots workers survived the epidemic. To share the story and to give deeper meaning to the sharing with our S.5 students, a retired sweeper shared his experiences. The session started with HKCCFLA sharing the vile circumstances that the sweepers faced at the beginning of the epidemic. Companies that these sweepers worked for only provided three masks a month at the start of the pandemic and the sweepers, who had no other livelihood, had no choice but to reuse them even though the masks might have already been contaminated. This meant that they faced the threat of getting infected with COVID and thus death. The worst is that they also earned very little. If you think back about then and if you did anything to help, you would very likely say no. And this is true for most of us. The sweepers were, without any doubt, neglected by society. When the retired sweeper shared, we learned how much they were not respected by the people and the government. We even learned that since they could not be sitting outside to eat, they had to resort to having their lunch inside the public toilet. In the question time, I along with other classmates being appalled by the poor working environment asked if there is any way to appeal the conditions they face. The answer was no. There are many people out in our society who are the unsung warriors of the pandemic. They risk their lives so that we can be safe providing an essential service to the community and to Hong Kong. We need to open our eyes more to people who serve and who put their lives at risk so that we can be safe. The next time you see one of them, a smile, a simple thank you or even a drink can make their day.

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