Interns at Mengniu say they’ve been made to work like this.
Chinese dairy giant Mengniu hasn’t just been poisoning our kids with melamine milk, they’ve also been treating their own interns like coolies. 70 vocational students from Jiangsu on an internship with the company’s plant in Ma’anshan, Anhui, say they’ve been made to do nothing but manual labour, working up to 14 hours each day, lifting 10,000 boxes, each weighing 2.5kg.
Xu Chi of Shanghai Daily writes:
Students with the Jiangsu Animal Husbandry and Veterinary College told Jiangsu Education TV the college had said they would work eight hours a day.
The program, aired yesterday, said the school also promised students would “learn the whole process of how dairy products were made.”
One male student, who was not named, told the program: “The truth is that I’m working from 6am to 6pm every day and have to spend another extra hour walking to the factory and back to my dorm. My only job is to lift the boxes up and down, pack and unpack them from the beginning of the day to its end. I could only lift 8,000 boxes per day before, but after days of exercising, I could now lift 10,000. That’s all that I have learned from the internship.”
When some of the students called the school asking to end their internships they were told they could be expelled if they stopped work without permission, the program said.
A male manager surnamed He with the factory told Shanghai Daily the students had to take the box-lifting job because other posts were not safe for beginners. “The work might be hard and boring because we wanted to teach the students that it was very hard to earn money.”
One college official, instead of siding with the students, complains to Shanghai Daily about how students these days “cannot bare any hardships in their life” anymore. Dismissing it all as a “misunderstanding, she added that interns “might be transferred” to other positions to learn more after some time, without specifying how long it would take.