While many countries provide excellent standards for employed men and women around the globe, there are sadly some that exploit their workers heavily. Here are some of the worst working conditions prevalent in our world today.
1The Chinese workers who were forced to drink toilet water
Though there has been a rapid growth in the Chinese economy in the last decade, China is riddled with horrific stories of exploitation and inhumane working conditions. Nearly 85 % of the country's population lives in rural areas, and most of them migrate to the cities in search of a better life. However, what awaits them is the stuff of nightmares are. Many of them are forced to work overtime for no extra pay and are even denied the basic human rights.
Recently, a shocking video surfaced showing employees being forced to drink toilet water as an act of punishment. While authorities have arrested a person in connection with this horrific act, the manager of the company states that the video was made to motivate the staff to work harder.
2The Indian cloth factory workers who suffered verbal and physical abuse
While India is known for its numerous contributions to the world, it is also known for its exploitation of labor.
In several clothing factories, workers face severe physical and mental abuse from their higher-ups. They are often ridiculed in front of their peers, especially when they are unable to meet the extremely unreasonable expectations of management.
Many earn only a rupee for more than four hours of work and aren't even allowed to take breaks to drink water or use the restroom due to the high volume of work given.
3The restriction of basic human rights for workers in Belarus
Located in Eastern Europe, Belarus has been internationally publicized for forced labor without pay for quite some time. Not only do most of them receive next to nothing for their efforts but they do not have the right to protest for better working conditions. Workers are denied trade union rights and are severely repressed by the government. Employment regulations in the country offer only temporary contracts for employees instead of any permanent agreements, stripping the people of the right to have a long-term income.
4Apple's Foxconn plant has set up netting for worker suicides
While well-known companies in developed countries have strict standards to adhere to legally, most developing nations have no such notion.
A famously fruity U.S. computer brand was recently in the spotlight for the inhumane working conditions suffered by their foreign workers. Some of their factories displayed very high suicide rates When a spate of employees started jumping off the factory roof, management simply placed netting around the building to catch them and later instructed them to get back to work.
5Nike sweatshop workers are physically abused in Indonesia
Nike is facing allegations of child labor and other inhumane treatment of workers in their foreign factories. To call them factories would be a gross understatement—they are sweatshops. One in Jakarta has managers throwing shoes at their employees while verbally abusing them. Some of them are even kicked and punched when they are thought to be underperforming.
Apart from suffering these abuses, any worker who voices a complaint is fired on the spot. Though Nike has spoken out against this treatment, little is being done to rectify the issue. The workers are even forced to stand under the hot sun for hours if they don’t meet their daily quotas.
6The U.S. poultry workers who wore adult diapers after bathroom breaks were denied
Some U.S. poultry producers have been found guilty of denying their employees bathroom breaks during work hours. When workers asked permission to take a break, they were ridiculed in front of staff and were eventually forced to wear adult diapers.
Per an Oxfam America report, employees "restrict intake of liquids and fluids to dangerous degrees; they endure pain and discomfort while they worry about their health and job security." Conditions are particularly trying for women who are menstruating or pregnant.
Tyson Foods Inc., Perdue Farms Inc., Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., and Sanderson Farms have all been named in the report and have all denied allegations of these abuses.
7The Korean sweatshop manager who gouged his employee’s eyes out
In 2003, a Samoan sweatshop, run by a Korean man named Lee Kil-Soo, was found to engage in the physical torture of its workers.
The sweatshop employed numerous immigrants from Vietnam and China who were beaten and starved in an attempt to make them more efficient. The 250 workers were paid $200 a month and forced to live in a cramped room with only 36 beds. Whenever they went on strike to protest the cruel treatment, the managers turned off the electricity to make their lives even more unbearable. One employee, a woman named Quyen Truong, was dragged in front of all the other workers and had her eyes gouged out with a plastic pipe to serve as an example for those who don’t work properly.
The Daewoosa garment factory, which operated in the U.S. territory from 1998 to 2001, producing clothes for Sears and J.C. Penney, was finally shuttered. Lee was convicted of a number of federal criminal violations, including involuntary servitude, extortion, and money laundering and sentenced to 40 years in jail. The court also ordered the South Korean businessman to pay $1.8 million in restitution to the workers.
8The negligence that led to the death of a hundred Bangladeshi workers
A supermarket chain notorious for its unsafe working conditions was forced into the spotlight after one of their factories in Bangladesh caught on fire. 112 workers were trapped in the blaze as the building came down. Those who survived later said that exit doors were locked and none of the fire extinguishers worked properly. When the alarm went off, management commanded workers to keep working.
The incident sparked an angry debate among retailers from all over the world, and a decision was made to create a pact that would prevent such a tragedy from happening again in the future. Unfortunately, the company in question refused to be a part of the agreement and stated that they would prefer to conduct special inspections themselves.
9The Indian government employees who wear helmets to work
Employees in a Bihar government office have to wear helmets at work because the building they work in is in such bad condition that they fear that part of the roof may come down at any time.
The ceiling has been prone to leaks and in a state of disrepair for several years. Visitors who enter the building are also told to wear helmets in case of a collapse. This points to the extreme negligence shown by the government, and it ultimately paints a black mark on the image of the country. If the government doesn’t care about the people who work in its offices, how can a citizen have any hope of seeing their country flourish?
10The American woman who found a note written by an abused Chinese worker in a purse
An Arizona woman found a note hidden a purse she had recently purchased. She shared the image of the letter, written in Mandarin, on social media hoping that someone would be able to help her in translating the message. What she discovered was horrifying.
The message was a cry for help. The worker wrote that he was forced to work more than 14 hours a day while being given scraps of food and almost no medical attention.
More notes like this have been found in stores across the U.S as many companies outsource their work to countries where human rights are negligible.