Disabled workers overcome challenge of epidemic | govt.chinadaily.com.cn


Disabled workers overcome challenge of epidemic

Updated: Mar 17, 2020 China Daily Global Print

LANZHOU-Despite being confined to a wheelchair, Lian Dong, 38, has been working from home since the novel coronavirus outbreak began in December.

Though the outbreak has put a pause on many businesses, Lian managed to get his usual salary of about 4,800 yuan ($690) last month.

"It didn't affect the livelihood of my family because I can still work from home during the period thanks to the computer my employer brought to me," he said.

Lian works as an online customer service officer for an employment center affiliated with the China Disabled Persons' Foundation in Zhangye, Gansu province.

The center has cooperated with the YTO Express courier service since 2017, to offer online customer service jobs to more than 50 people with paralysis.

Liu Weiping, who is in charge of the center and has paraplegia himself, said during the outbreak, employees who used to come to the office had been offered computers to work from home.

Shortly after the outbreak, Liu and his wife used their car to deliver computers to the disabled workers to reduce the risk of infection.

Liu, also a qualified psychologist, provided disease prevention knowledge and psychological counseling for the workers via his mobile phone and WeChat.

The package delivery business has been busier due to the outbreak, with many people opting to shop online, which has increased demand for the services of the disabled workers.

"We cannot stop working as we need to solve clients' concerns about their packages," Liu said.

"Besides, no work means no money."

Tang Xiaopeng, a worker at the center who earned 4,150 yuan last month, said, "I am happy and relieved to have a steady income at this time."

As positive signs have started to emerge in the battle against the outbreak and the courier industry gradually recovers, the center is getting back to normal and staff members are returning to the office.

Special measures have been taken to avoid the risk of infection, including strict temperature monitoring, staggered office hours and scattered seating.

The center has received donations including face masks and sanitizer gels from the local government and the foundation.

Statistics showed the center has provided nearly 320,000 high-quality telephone services to YTO Express customers.

"We have already received much care from society. And now we are so proud to do our part and pay back the kindness," Tang said.

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