Employees of a home improvement business in south-western China have been forced to drink urine, eat cockroaches and have been smacked with belts as punishment for failing to meet sales targets, according to Chinese local media.
- Workers punished by having heads shaved, beaten with belts
- Three managers jailed over the abuse
- Workers banned from going on strike in China
The “extreme punishment”, which occurred in Zunyi city in Guizhou province, was captured on video and leaked to social media site Weibo last week, China Youth Daily said.
The video showed a shirtless man surrounded by a group of people and being flogged with a belt by a woman.
Another scene from the video shows the same man with a reddened back.
According to the report, staff were subjected to a range of bizarre punishments, including being forced to eat mustard, eat insects, drink water that had socks in it and having their head shaved.
Local police from the Honghuagang district issued a statement confirming the “humiliating corporal punishment”, adding that the investigation was ongoing.
“After preliminary verification, the company did humiliate and physically punish its employees in order to meet its sales targets,” the police statement said.
Police added that the punishment was for employees who did not meet sales targets and that the managers involved were suspected of “openly insulting individuals” — a crime under Chinese law.
Managers who were only identified by their surnames — Guo, Cai, and Huang — were jailed for between five and 10 days for the abuse inflicted on their employees.
The incident came one month after Chinese ride-sharing service Didi revealed that a driver had accidentally given a bottle of water filled with his urine to a customer.
Didi apologised for the mistake in a statement, saying the driver urinated in the bottle because he couldn’t find a public toilet. The firm advised the driver and the customer to undergo a health assessment.