China cleaner sacked for warming himself is reinstated

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Image caption Street cleaners are paid poor wages for working in often extreme conditions

A street cleaner who was sacked in China for warming himself over a fire in freezing conditions has been reinstated after a public outcry.

Ding Quan, 59, was re-employed by his cleaning company after it admitted its response last week was unfair, Chinese media report.

Mr Ding said he was trying to dry his gloves and coat when his supervisor drove past and took a photo of him.

He was later told he had been fired for breaching anti-smog and safety rules.

Mr Ding told China's Metro News he had started cleaning on a street in the northern province of Shaanxi at 06:00 and after three hours' work he had spotted a group of men around a fire.

He had joined them for 20 minutes when he was ordered by his supervisor to put the fire out, he said.

The Xian company that employed Mr Ding, Golden Medal, said in a statement its decision had been "made with a lack of humanity and was inappropriate".

The case sparked discussion on China's social media about the poor work conditions of the country's street cleaners.

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