Since the Omicron variant spread in Shanghai, the authorities adopted strict prevention measures. Shanghai residents have repeatedly protested against the government employees who enforced the lockdown and control. These government employees are people in white protective suits, known as Dabai or Big White. However, recently, some Dabai have rebelled as they have encountered difficulties.
China News reported that some Dabai are facing unemployment. They even took to the streets to defend their rights.
Radio Free Asia-Chinese posted a video showing “Dabai” gathered to ask for their wages in front of the subdivision office in Gonghexin Road of Jing’an district, Shanghai.
They called out loud their slogans: “Give (our) money back! Return our money!”
Online videos show more than 20 Dabai participating in the parade, shouting slogans, such as:
“Give back my hard-earned money,”
“Give back my salary,” etc.
“Dabai” finally gathered in front of the subdivision office of Gonghexin Road.
One woman shouted: “We want our salary! We want our money! Give it back to us! Give it back! Give it back!”
Another video shows several Dabai gathering around a man in black T-shirt and shouting, “Return our money.”
Chinese-language media NTDTV reported that the Chinese government’s “iron fist” has hit these Dabai, who had already served their means.
The media outlet added that the Chinese Communist Party eradication and prevention of the epidemic is still ongoing. Group resistance against violence also emerged in an endless stream; conflicts between officials and citizens continue to escalate.
According to NTDTV, people in the Jing’an District said that volunteers are at high risk of being infected with the virus. When they apply for a job, they are promised a certain amount of money. But if they meet a dishonest recruiter, they will not receive the promised amount, have a salary cut, or overdue payment.
A Jing’an resident named Wang said, “Most of the Dabai recruiters are from other provinces, and very few of them are local people. They are usually unpaid volunteers.”
Chinese domestic media Sohu reported on May 1 that 17 “epidemic prevention experts” had their wages owed for more than a month. The captain was out of reach, and the recruitment agency was the same. After much mediation, they finally got their salary. But during the process, they encountered sudden rain and cold air in Shanghai, so they spent a night under a bridge.
Zhang Lei said that he initially worked in Baoshan District, Shanghai. After the outbreak of the epidemic, the factory he was working in closed. He saw a man named “Yang” posting recruit information.
In recruitment information, each Dabai needs a nucleic acid certificate within 48 hours and must follow the arrangement of the residential area and support epidemic prevention measures. Their payment is 250 yuan/day, plus free accommodation, food, and a stable salary. However, the workplace address was only “community near Beicai Town, Pudong New Area.”
Zhang Lei said that the intermediary promised from 3 to 15 days of work. Then the work became more and more due to the growing epidemic. They had to work more, but they couldn’t contact the manager.
On May 1, a person surnamed Cai, who is in charge of the Chenqiao Neighborhood Committee of Beicai town told a reporter from China Youth Daily that the overdue payment issues had been resolved. But it was not clear whether these Dabai came from intermediaries or security companies. He said: “It’s all run by the above and has nothing to do with the village committee. They themselves go in and work in the area.”
Relevant departments in Shanghai told reporters from China Youth Daily that Pudong New Area had stepped in to solve the problem. The reporter asked relevant departments of Pudong New Area, Beicai Town and Shanghai Yishen Security Guard Service Co., Ltd. for more information but has not received a response.