Have you ever worked a terrible job with lousy pay and a management team from hell? Do you take frequent bathroom breaks and text friends "please come rescue me", frequently fantasizing about a black ops team bursting through the doors and windows, filling the halls with gas and whisking you away to a safe, undisclosed beachside location? If so, the desperation of a Chinese prisoner who smuggled a note into one of the bags he made as a part of slave labor. Yes, a "HELP" note from a Chinese prisoner was found in a bag made for Walmart.
Christel Wallace bought her daughter in-law a purse from Walmart as a gift. Little did she know, the purse had an extra surprise tucked away in one of the pockets. One of the prisoners who made the purse in China's prisons wrote an SOS in hope of getting help. The note was written in Chinese and out of curiosity, the woman had the note translated:
“Inmates in the Yingshan Prison in Guangxi, China are working 14 hours daily with no break/rest at noon, continue working overtime until 12 midnight, and whoever doesn’t finish his work will be beaten. Their meals are without oil and salt. Every month, the boss pays the inmate 2000 yuan, any additional dishes will be finished by the police. If the inmates are sick and need medicine, the cost will be deducted from the salary. Prison in China is unlike prison in America, horse cow goat pig dog (literally, means inhumane treatment).”
A spokesperson from Walmart issued a statement to News 4 Tuscon, saying:
“We can’t comment specifically on this note, because we have no way to verify the origin of the letter, but one of our requirements for the suppliers who supply products for sale at Walmart is all work should be voluntary as indicated in our Standards for Suppliers.”
This begs the question of modern slave labor across the globe and how American corporations do business. Companies like Walmart pay their employees the minimalist of wages to where employees can't survive without government assistance, while all of their products are "Made in China!" This is not the first time a note from a Chinese prisoner was found in products made for Americans. And until we stop supporting slave labor, it will not be the last.
Ending slave labor is one of the best reasons to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US. And no, I'm not talking about bringing manufacturing jobs to American prisons for American slave labor. I'm talking about real jobs for people who need them.