Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) union representatives yesterday accused the company of consistently violating the Labor Standards Act (勞基法) by forcing employees to work overtime without additional pay.
“THSRC workers have had to endure long-term overtime working hours, leading to serious fatigue,” THSRC Labor Union president Huang Yu-kai (黃昱凱) said, adding that workers on trains and at stations regularly work more than 200 hours per month.
“Train and station staff are scheduled to work overtime every month without their consent, eating into their days off, including national holidays,” he said, adding that a lack of rest is a threat to passenger safety.
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
Instead of paying overtime at the end of each month as required by law, overtime hours are counted toward hours worked on the next month’s roster, he said.
Huang said that low-level managers pressure employees to work overtime, even after the union had demanded changes.
He estimated that the company owed workers NT$5 billion (US$152.8 million) in unpaid overtime and holiday pay over the past three years.
Train operator Wang Kai-ti (王凱蒂) said that operators work irregular hours and are often required to work for almost 24 hours in a single shift, which disrupts his sleep patterns and leads to insomnia.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) said that the corporation had failed to make improvements, despite repeated citations from labor affairs departments in several cities.
THSRC deputy chairman William Hsu (徐宜中) said that the firm would hire and train several hundred new workers in the coming months to reduce the burden on current employees, adding that in the future, employees would have the right to refuse to work overtime, and that the firm’s current roster system was the result of negotiations between corporate officials and workers’ representatives, with the union only having been established last year.
The firm has lost billions in revenue since it began operations, forcing a financial restructuring plan this year.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan
The Taipei City Government yesterday said that construction on the long-suspended Taipei Dome can resume immediately, after it approved a request by the project’s main contractor, Farglory Group. In a statement, the Taipei Construction Management Office said that after it on July 16 issued a new building permit, Farglory submitted revised design plans and an application to resume construction, which the office approved on Friday. Construction had been suspended on the dome, near the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Xinyi District (信義), for more than five years due to disagreements between the city and the company over the safety of some of