On-site visit to the Gwanak-gu street cleaners’ lounge
Date: November 2, 2011
Venue: Street cleaners’ lounge, Gwanak-gu
There are more people working day and night for the citizens of Seoul than I had ever imagined. They work in the dark, without light or name. I believe it is very important that we allow them to work with pride and happiness.
Our city’s street cleaners are among such people. They are, literally, people who usher in the dawn every day. Today, I listened to them speak about their hardships, how every street is filled with trash. So now, I am deeply considering how we might improve the waste-sorting process and ease these workers’ burden of labor. Also, I feel that their working conditions need to be improved.
I strongly believe that the answer to this issue can be found by closely examining their daily routine. So, I personally examined the status of their work environment today and heard about the troubles the street cleaners of this city are facing. This effort will lead to new measures and policies aimed at improving conditions for these vital city workers. It was only a short visit, but I believe our waste policy will be improved through the greater communication and trust that we established today.
The division chief is with us here today, and I noticed that he reports all comments, even those made in passing. I am impressed at such passion displayed by our public servants. I believe that if we work hard to solve our problems one at a time, we will success in achieving citizen-centered administration.
I hope that my presence here has provided you some measure of support. I know well that the job of a street cleaner is exhausting and the conditions far from satisfactory. Yet, through your efforts, you provide a clean environment for the citizens of this city. So, I pray that you take heart. Not only the mayor, but all citizens of Seoul acknowledge your hard work. We may not be able to resolve all of your problems at once, but we will start tackling them one at a time.