fter enduring four days of “development training,” 11 out of 38 workers at a Hangzhou company ended up at the hospital two days later.
According to Xiaosong, a 23-year-old fresh college graduate who was hired by the company earlier this month, the workers’ training felt more like being in a boot camp for special forces candidates.
Day one was spent in basic training, with military-style exercises and marching practice. Day two was even more intense. Workers were divided up into small groups and then made to do 300 squats while carrying a four-meter-long log weighing around 50 kilograms. When many of the workers gave up after only managing to around 100 squats, they were punished by being forced to do 100 pushups as well as 10 laps around the track while carrying the log.
In the two days following the end of their training, 11 of the workers checked themselves into local hospitals in Hangzhou, telling doctors about their extreme muscle fatigue and brown-colored urine. After examination, they were diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which damaged muscles break down and are released into the bloodstream. This can cause serious kidney complications and even death.
The company responsible for putting its workers through hell and into the hospital said that the intensity of the training may have been too challenging for some. A staff member said that the workers were allowed to rest or to take the day off if they felt the training was too difficult for them, adding that the hot weather probably contributed to the casualties.
Unfortunately, being tortured and shamed by their employer is a part of life for many Chinese workers. Recently, a group of incoming college students were forced to eat raw eggs and bitter melon after failing to impress their boss during their first day on the job.