Sales staff at a home renovation company in the Chinese city of Zunyi had a choice: Meet their sales targets, or face punishments including being forced to eat cockroaches and drink urine. Police investigated the company after reports and video surfaced of the cruel and bizarre punishments, the BBC reports. According to reports on social media, underperforming staff at the company were also forced to drink toilet water or vinegar, have their heads shaved, or sell condoms on the street. Video posted online shows workers being hit with a belt and drinking cups of yellow liquid.
"If the sales goal has not been met by the end of this month, the team leader will have to eat three cockroaches for each failed sale," read one text message sent to employees. Police said that as a result of their investigation, two company managers were sentenced to 10 days in jail and a third to 5 days. Workers said they were afraid to quit or speak out about the abuse because the company owed them months of back pay and they feared the money would be withheld, reports the South China Morning Post. The Post notes that labor unrest and reports of ill-treatment of workers have both been rising as China's economy slows down. (Chinese citizens with "bad social credit" are also being punished.)