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Couriers find relief at SF Express outlets

By MA CHI | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-13 07:00

Li Zhanfei (right), an SF Express courier, checks a package with his colleague at SF's Deshengmen outlet in Beijing on Wednesday. ZHU XINGXIN/CHINA DAILY

As the temperature outdoors rises above 35 C at midday on the first of the dog days of summer, several couriers enjoyed watermelon and plum juice at an SF Express facility in Beijing.

At this station, a computer, a bookshelf and a dormitory are available to give the couriers a good rest.

"These services may seem simple, but by the standards of the express delivery industry, they are quite a luxury," said Li Yuezhen, of the Trade Union of National Defense and Post and Telecommunications, one of 10 major industry trade unions in China.

On average, a courier works eight to 10 hours a day, said Hao Jie, head of SF's Deshengmen Gate station. The job requires high intensity, and most of the company's couriers are young migrant workers.

The station is part of a pilot program initiated by the trade union that aims to better serve and unify workers in privately owned courier companies, Li said.

Four such stations equipped with convenient facilities have been set up in the SF network in Beijing since the pilot program was launched in April last year.

Data published by the trade union suggests that after the program was launched more workers have become members of the company's branch of the union. In the four pilot stations, 83 percent of the couriers have joined, compared with an average 67.7 percent for all employees of the company.

In addition to the pilot stations, in each of the SF outlets in Beijing there is at least one representative of the company's trade union responsible for serving employees.

Wang Qiang, a courier, said the union not only helps couriers cool off on hot days but also gives aid to employees with financial difficulties and other life problems.

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