Shocking labour practices leak out of China
- China smack
As the recent building collapses in Bangladesh highlight the plight of low paid workers in that country, new evidence is emerging from China of despicable practices in the manufacturing sectors that treat employees in a sickeningly inhumane fashion.
Pictures have surfaced on a range of Chinese news blogs and social media sites, such as the Twitter-like Weibo, which have sparked an outpouring of anger about some of the labour practices being used and abused in the country. The new photographic evidence shows a group of uniformed employees in the southern city of Chongqing crawling around a monument in the centre of town on their knees.
Part chain gang, part bizarre Guantanamo-esque ritual and part shocking public spectacle, the bizarre sight drew a substantial crowd of onlookers and even the attention of the local public security office.
“Through investigation, this was an exercise a cosmetics company gave their employees to train them to deal with pressure, and the police have already persuaded them to leave and have also criticized and educated the organizers of the company,” the authorities posted on their Weibo account.
One internet response said
“This boss is finished! His good intention has ruined the name of his company! Such low behavior, how did he come up with something like this?! What would the customers feel if they saw this!” wrote one Weibo user.
“This is not challenging their resilience to pressure; this is making people completely give up their bottom line as a human being,” a different user added.
Others were far from shocked
“This is the reality. Some people have to put up with all kinds of unfairness and humiliations for survival.”
With the incident coming hot on the heels of the respected May 1 Labour Day Holiday, observers were left despairing of a system that sees ritual humiliation and processes verging on torture as a means of ‘training’