Students Forced to Intern at Wuling Motors

Students from the School of Automotive, Guangxi Technological College of Machinery and Electricity, were sent to the production line at Liuzhou Wuling Automobile Industry Co., Ltd. in August 2020.

They were asked to sign a tripartite employment agreement from August 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021. After they started working, their school and the factory did not adhere to the internship agreement. The student interns’ rights were violated. The student interns have written a joint letter to their teachers to report these issues but have yet to receive a response. They hope to be able to choose internships which they are interested in. But the school forced them to work on the production line by threatening not to give them the diplomas they are entitled to.

China Labor Watch has translated the students’ joint letter below. The internship agreement can be found in the report.

Joint Letter

August 24, 2020

Dear Teachers,
We are students from the Guangxi Technological College of Machinery and Electricity, from the Automobile department, auto repair 1801 and auto parts 1801 students. Due to the school’s teaching plan, we began interning at Liuzhou Wuling Automobile Industry Co., Ltd. (Wuling Motors) from August 5th, 2020. During the internship, Wuling Motors did not abide by the “Employment Agreement for Graduates of General Colleges and Universities” as signed by the school. Instead, Wuling Motors has seriously violated our rights and interests.

The working conditions at Wuling Motors:
1. Unreasonable Work Schedule: Wuling Motors did not adhere to the employment agreement in arranging 8 hours of work per day, 48 hours of work per week. Instead, without any prior discussions with us, they arranged for us to work 2 to 3.5 hours of overtime. Sometimes, we put in 11.5 hours of high intensity work a day.
2. The employment agreement signed by Wuling Motors and our school, only mentions we will be earning wages of no less than 1000 RMB. This is in clear violation of national labor laws regarding wages. Subsidies and overtime wages are also unclear.
3. Hazardous Work Environment. The majority of students are working in welding and soldering positions. Because they are working in these high intensity positions for a long time, their eyes are damaged by the light generated by the electric arc when welding. We have to prevent the weld spatter from splashing onto our skin and we also inhale many toxic gases during the welding process.

The above is the reality of the situation. As interns, we hope that the employment agreement as signed by our school can protect our rights and interests. We hope to choose our own internships instead of having the school arrange the internships. The school forces us to intern at Wuling Motors by telling us that we won’t have enough points to receive our diplomas if we do not participate. We hope that the you can help us protect our rights and interests, allow us to decide our own internships and consider our thoughts on this issue rather than arranging compulsory work for us. We hope that you can take into consideration our feelings, agree to our demands above and to accept our joint letter.

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