A laid-off employee at King Car Logistics Co, a subsidiary company of the food-and-beverage giant King Car Group, accused the company yesterday of exploiting employees with long work hours and refusing to pay for overtime work.
“I told my supervisor that I could no longer work long hours because I have cancer. My supervisor responded by firing me,” Huang Chung-hsiao (黃忠孝), a former employee of King Car Logistics, told a press conference at the legislature in Taipei.
“I was fired on Labor Day,” he added.
After showing up late for work one day, his supervisor asked him to take the day off, Huang said.
“I took the day off, but at noon I received a phone call from a colleague that I was given a demerit,” Huang said. “We drivers are seriously exploited, we’re working in horrible conditions.”
A driver’s basic salary at King Car Logistics, he said, is as little as NT$12,000 per month and employees often have to work overtime to boost their wages.
“We usually have to work more than 10 hours a day — I actually often work up to 19 hours a day,” Huang said. “With such long working hours, we often don’t get enough rest before working the next shift.”
One of his colleagues surnamed Chen (陳) had an accident at work and Huang believed it was caused by fatigue.
“Only days before his accident, he asked us to help him because he was too tired,” Chen said.
Tu Kuang-yu (杜光宇), secretary of the King Car Group Union, alleged that in order to dodge labor regulations on work hours, the company is asking employees not to clock out.
“They’re even counting drivers’ work hours via a global positioning system [GPS] installed in every truck. They calculate drivers’ working hours according to GPS records and discount the hours when the truck engine is turned off,” Tu said.
“That means it wouldn’t be counted as ‘working’ when the driver is helping clients to carry goods or taking a break,” he added.
When the union protested, “the management said they don’t care if we sue them or file a complaint with labor authorities, because they would only get fined and money is not a problem for them,” Tu said.
Responding to the accusations, King Car Group said that the company has always paid workers according to the law, that Huang has been a “problematic employee” and that they would consider taking legal action against Huang for spreading false information about the company.