Yesterday, a very upset talk show host was asking who is the “big mountain” protecting the tour agency. He was asking because the agency’s representatives have not shown up, not even to inquire/visit the remaining living 11 people in ICU. Moreover, they have already had over 48 hours to alter/hide/destroy any evidence/records, as the prosecutor’s ofice has not yet even visited, yet raided their offices.
Iris Travel is to be fined between NT$20,000 and NT$300,000 for failing to provide Kang’s identification card and salary records, and between NT$90,000 and NT$450,000 for not having his attendance records, he said.
Aside from the atrocious press conference:
- A group of drivers came out. The boss used the excuse that he had not given laobao or NHI to his employee because th3 guy had creadit card issues (!!??). The drivers tell a different story: the boss forced them to sign a paper forfeiting those rights. In exchange, the boss claimed he would give them a higher percentage of the daily “tips”. In practice, this was not true.
Drivers went to the authorities to present a claim, the corresponding officer refused to take their case.
- Now there are questions about the bus condition. Aside from being a “reformed” car, 20 years old, apparently the boss was using second hand parts. Last year the company had an accident when a bus was hit by a rock. Questions are being raised about what happened to the bus… how many pieces?
Oh, and there seems to have been some issue with the rear tires.
- Boss is a really piece. The day of the accident, he denied being the boss and said he needed to sleep. He himself was caught on tape driving one of the buses for a tour 3 days after… when the company was supposed to be closed down already. And he demanded money from the driver’s daughter…
Just a reminder to everyone interested in Taiwan’s labor laws: if the employer is a registered company with at least five employees, an “agreement” waiving an employee’s right to labor insurance will not hold up in court, as long as the employment relationship is not disputed. If the company manages to convince the court that the worker is an independent contractor, the worker has a problem. And because the system is the way it is, the employer can dispute an employment relationship even after issuing official confirmation (“It was a typo!”).
(The employer is only liable for insurance benefits if the insurance registration did not occur or if the employer underreported the salary. Otherwise it’s the BLI that pays.)
I agree the credit card part doesn’t make sense.
How can the workers dispute it if the Government will not take their claim?
Apparently, if I understood correctly, the drivers said that the official at CLA or whatever instance they went to denounce their situation had some relationship with tehir boss so did not take their case…
If the worker is registered for laobao, it’s between the worker and the BLI (Bureau of Labor Insurance, a unit of the Ministry of Labor), though the employer is still on the hook if the salary was underreported. The penalty is the missing amount of the premiums x4, plus the missing amount of the benefit if applicable.
If the worker is not registered for laobao, the BLI can investigate and fine the employer but can’t be held responsible for the insurance benefit because it’s the employer’s fault, so it’s between the worker and the employer.
The labor department won’t directly investigate a labor insurance matter because the investigation would just involve transfering the case to the BLI (or so they say), but if the department mediates a labor-management dispute it can include an insurance benefit as part of the settlement (if both parties agree).
If mediation fails, the worker needs to file a civil suit against the employer. The legal basis is the Labor Insurance Act Art. 72, and iirc the BLI’s website states that Civil Code Art. 184 (tortious behavior) is also applicable if the company’s registered capital is insufficient to cover the debt and it’s therefore necessary to go after the fuzeren of the company.
And hereby lies the problem: it took them days for the authorities to determine the ownership of the bus. The public was furious: if a 50cc scooter can be traced to its owner, how come a several million bus cannot?
So, we have corruption and fear and guanxi trampling existing laws or laws being applied in detriment of harmed parties… Workers are mostly unaware of their rights and when they realize, their right to complain is plagued with delays and subterfuges and retaliation.
Ownership of the bus should be irrelevant as far as laobao goes.
If the employment relationship is disputed (either the existence of an employment relationship at all or just the identity of the employer), then ownership of the bus may be a factor.
Laobao aside, the employer’s identity also matters if the passengers’ families sue for compensation.
Thanks for all the news and updates.
It’s no wonder that most people here when getting shafted by the boss just tell me there is no point in going to the labour board as they won’t help anyway. I still remember ‘Housecats’ story years ago and how they went out of their way to shaft her. Retaliation by firing for making a complaint and all the government worker said was I’ll try and talk with them even though he caused the problem.
Thing is that they are not taking it lying down anymore. At least they are complaining. The ball now is on the Government’s side. They are the ones that can asign responsibilities and enforce a fair play environment suitable for economic growth.
Think about this: who is going to get on a bus knowing the conditions they are under? People see an ad on teh paper. Why should they assume not that everything is legal when the companies are out there in teh open? Unfortunately, for too many years, guanxi and corruption, coated in chabuduo and “driver’s culture” have resulte din this bloodbath.
Remember China Scarelines? They fixed it up good enough. How about the hong bao based medical treatment? NHI is not perfect but it is more available and competitive. Things that can be imprioved on should be improved on. Else we have plasticizers, 500 hurt in a single fire, buildings collapsing in slight tremors, etc ad nauseum.
This is a bad week for accidents. A train just flipped in Belgium.
However, if the company acknowledge publicly that they did not granted him vacations/break time, and if the family says that the driver worker 14 (?) days in a row, it sounds like in addition to those punishments, they should be charger with something like homicide X 33.
Fuck this country already…
Hard hittting editorial in Chinese in the United Daily News.
Third rate actions and third rate law enforcement equals third rate country?
(Never mind the obligatory snide bit about students and democracy…)
I mean it’s not like the country didn’t pass a hugely controversial and well publicized labour law recently!
Never mind the shitty buses driving around the country with no health and safety regs, worse pieces of shit bolted together and no tacho for the drivers. We’ve been using tachometers in Europe for many decades already.
This seems to be the English version
"United Daily News: Does Taiwan really want to be a 'third-rate country?’
Minister of Transportation and Communications Hochen Tan (賀陳旦) has not accepted the resignations, a senior official said yesterday.
I’ve traveled around to places like Japan and countries in EU, and although most tour buses had seat belts, I was never aware of any laws that required me to wear them. They might have had laws but it just doesn’t seemed enforced.
It’s not really the seltbelts just the chabuduiism and corruption of everything.
Oh, did someone offer to resign? Well that fixes EVERYTHING! Works like a charm, every time!
And the company had it’s license revoked! Woweee there’ll never be another incident ever again…