Taipei bus companies violate Labor Standards Act

Some drivers work from 9 a.m. to almost midnight: Department of Labor

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(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After a bus careened onto a sidewalk in Taipei’s Neihu District on Sept. 21, killing one person and wounding another, the city’s Department of Labor conducted an inspection of 12 city bus operators and found that none had given their drivers enough time to rest between shifts and five had overworked their drivers to an illegal extent.

Taipei Department of Labor (DOL) Commissioner Chen Hsin-yu (陳信瑜) said that the inspection found three blatant violations of the labor law: seven companies did not give their workers 11 hours of rest between shifts, seven did not provide workers uninterrupted rest intervals of more than 30 minutes during the day, and five illegally overworked their workers, per CNA.

According to the DOL analysis, due to a shortage of manpower, some companies had their drivers work from 9 a.m. to almost midnight, leaving them with only about seven hours to rest between shifts after commutes.

With regard to breaks, some bus drivers immediately were found to have begun one route after finishing another for fear of causing delays, bringing their daily hours to over 12, including overtime, and adding up to more than 46 monthly hours of overtime in some cases.

The department said that the situation calls for the bus companies to hire more people, rearrange shift schedules, and keep track of the time drivers spend resting between routes.