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'Leisure rooms' symbolize solidarity with vital workers

Updated: 2021-03-04 08:20 ( China Daily )
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Walking around Beijing, you may notice a circular sign which appears quite often, generally outside restaurants, which says "Beijing Trade Union Leisure Room", along with a heart and the emblem of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions.

So what purpose do these "leisure rooms" serve? Are they for union members to play games, or to socialize at? No, they have a much more socially useful purpose, and give a good example of the role trade unions play in China's modern socialist society by serving working people and showing practical solidarity.

Beijing's trade union organization provides these "leisure rooms" for the city's outdoor workers and those working in arduous conditions, such as street cleaners, delivery workers and truck drivers, to name but a few.

These are the unsung heroes of our society, the people we rely on every single day to keep the streets of our cities clean, supply us with essential goods and provide us with a level of convenience that previous generations could only dream about.

Most people probably don't give these workers a second thought, but fortunately China's trade union movement does, and provides these "leisure rooms" to give them some respite from their very demanding jobs.

At these "leisure rooms", the workers can get drinking water, hot meals, rest and first aid. These rooms can be found in residential areas, where rooms in a restaurant are often designated for this function, but can also be found in factories and other industrial areas.

Trade union organizations in office buildings and industrial parks have also set up snack bars, tea bars, food vending machines, small supermarkets, etc, in order to provide more convenient services for workers.

These trade union "leisure rooms" are equipped with items such as tables and chairs, drinking fountains, microwave ovens, and even chargers, umbrellas, first aid boxes, cups, books and magazines and sewing kits to meet the basic needs of outdoor workers, such as heating, food, drinking water, toilets, charging their phones, etc. The service benefits environmental health workers, traffic police, delivery workers and other frontline workers. The trade union "leisure rooms" can be located on the app of the Beijing Federation of Trade Unions.

This is just one example of the role of trade unions in China today, where they have moved beyond the traditional roles of solely representing members on pay and working conditions and provide them with services and benefits to improve the overall quality of their life.

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