Tue, Apr 10, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Union accuses TRA of shortchanging workers

‘UNREASONABLE’:Union members said that the more overtime hours employees work, the less overtime pay they earn, which contravenes the Labor Standards Act

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Members of the Taiwan Railway Union yesterday accused the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) of skimping on overtime pay for employees.

Union members said in a protest outside the Taipei Railway Station that the agency has not honored a recent announcement that employees who work regular hours (from 9am to 5pm) would get three hours of overtime pay per day if they substitute three times within two weeks for those who work shifts.

However, only 1.2 overtime hours would be counted per day if they substitute four times within two weeks, based on a recent announcement from the agency.

The more overtime hours that employees work, the less overtime pay they earn, the union said, adding that this is the way the agency saves on overtime pay.

This is a clear violation of articles 24 and 32 of the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) governing overtime hours and overtime pay, the union said.

Moreover, employees working night shifts who take one day off would be listed as taking 1.5 days off, the union said.

This is unreasonable, they said, adding that they should be counted as taking one day off.

Minister of Labor Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) should inspect the work environment at the TRA and order the agency to address these issues immediately, the union said.

TRA Transportation Department chief Chang Ching-song (張錦松) said that agency employees are not ordinary workers, but also government employees.

As such, the agency applies Rules Governing Leave of Absence of Civil Servants (公務人員請假規則) when it comes to regulations on leave of absence, whereas the Labor Standards Act would be used to handle issues related to work hours and overtime pay.

The agency has followed both regulations, Chang said.

“TRA employees are compensated with overtime pay based on the Labor Standards Act. Rules Governing Leave of Absence of Civil Servants have regulations on different types of leave of absence. Some of the situations use 0.5 day as a unit, whereas others are calculated by the hour,” Chang said.

The Ministry of Civil Service has proposed changes to the regulations, Chang said, adding that the ministry is seeking input from different government agencies on the matter.

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