Chinese bank employees 'smacked on stage for underperforming at work'

China does not yet meet international labour law standards

Hazel Sheffield
Monday 20 June 2016 15:30 BST
Manager spanks employees for not "exceeding themselves"

A Chinese bank manager has been shown smacking underperforming employees with a paddle in a video that has surfaced online.

The video shows employees at a Rural Commercial Bank in Changzhi, Northern China, being smacked in front of other workers for not "exceeding themselves", according to the Chinese newspaper China People's Daily, which posted it on Facebook.

Eight workers, lined up on a stage in uniform, are first asked to say why they have underperformed before a manager carrying a paddle several feet long delivers multiple blows to their behinds.

One woman is shown doubled over and staggering after the fourth blow as onlookers, also in uniform, gasp and murmur.

Commenters have reacted to what they see as an "immoral way to treat employees". The Rural Commercial Bank was unavailable for comment.

Workers rights in China have been damaged by a new series of laws on national security that have been drafted and enacted.

A massive crackdown against human rights lawyers that began in July 2015 has resulted in many being imprisoned, while other activists and human rights defenders have suffered intimidation and harassment.

China does not yet meet international labour law standards. Employees cannot choose their collective bargaining representatives, while employers are not legally required to bargain with workers.

In February, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said: “We are seeing a very worrying pattern in China that has serious implications for civil society and the important work they do across the country.

"Civil society actors, from lawyers and journalists to NGO workers, have the right to carry out their work, and it is the State’s duty to support and protect them."

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