The latest in degrading punishments for Chinese employees takes the form of live worm-eating, a grotesque and humiliating abuse that has been as ill-received online as by those forced into the slimy situation.
The worm-munching took place at a plaza in Hanzhong where 60 employees for a home furnishing company were gathered for a meeting, with those who had not reached their sales quota (about 5 or 6 total) downing a cup full of meal worms (4 per customer lost) mixed with baijou liquor in front of their fellow workers.
An owner of a bathroom company that belonged to the sales group who set up the worm-eating gave an assurance that the event was a “voluntary” punishment, though refusals seem to have been scant.
Photos of the ordeal, taken by curious onlookers:
The online outrage that quickly followed the incident prompted responses from other company employees, with one stating that the punishments were a daily occurrence: “Other than worms, we have also eaten live squid and ants before,” while another mentioned that the punishments are more akin to “a special form of encouragement”.
The labor inspection bureau of Hanzhong city revealed the incident to be a violation of China’s employment contract law (which prevents employers from humiliating or physically harming their employees) and urged those involved to report the event to the local labor department – presumably so those daring to report the matter could be consigned to a double helping next time, if the typical enforcement of Chinese labor law is anything to go by.