State grain enterprise rejects rumors on smart phone ban in workplace

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/3 14:45:59

Grains in storage at a workplace of a branch company of The China Grain Reserves Group Company in Zhaozhou, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, is mixed with impurities. Photo: Screenshot of a video posted by Fengmian Video

The China Grain Reserves Group Company (CGRGC), a state-backed grain enterprise, released a statement Sunday night to clarify a widely circulating notice posted by one of its branch companies that stated smart phones and recording equipment were not allowed in workplace, saying the policy is due to safety concerns, and rejected rumors that it is seeking to hide quality problems concerning the grain in storage.

The dated notice was reportedly posted at the entrance of a workplace of a branch company of CGRGC in Zhaozhou, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, which banned smart phones and other video and audio equipment when entering.

The notice quickly led to speculation among netizens that the ban was aimed at covering up quality problems with the grain at the workplace, which had been previously exposed in a video taken by an insider at the company showing the grain in storage had been mixed with impurities.

CGRGC claimed in Sunday's statement that the ban is aimed at ensuring the safety of workers in the workplace, as "using electronic devices would cause potential safety hazards for personnel on site, where there is a lot of machinery and equipment in operation and heavy traffic going in and out."

The statement also said it has criticized and punished the branch company for causing a misunderstanding among the public over the issue of grain quality.

However, most netizens were not satisfied with CGRGC's response, saying the explanation for the ban is not persuasive and seems to evade critical public concerns over the company's quality problems with grain reserve.

"A ban on video and audio recording devices … What does it have to do with safety hazards for personnel at the workplace?" one netizen asked.

In the undercover video exposing poor-quality corn, the person who recorded the video said that the workers had been asked to cover the bad corn with good ones to make it look acceptable on the surface.

The corporation clarified on July 14 that the quality problems of the corn revealed in the video were "basically" not true, according to their investigations. While some unsifted items were indeed found to have been mixed in with the grain, that was only because the items were not thoroughly cleaned when the grain was put into storage and were just isolated cases, it added.

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