Japan: Train driver sues employer after dropping Dh2 wages to over Dh70,000

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The man’s salary was reportedly docked after a mix-up resulted in him being a minute late



From AFP

Released: Thu Nov 11, 2021, 7:23 pm

A Japanese train driver is suing his employer after his wages 56 yen (Dh 1.80) were docked with the country’s famous on-time rail system due to a minute-long delay, the company said Thursday.

The driver filed a lawsuit against the West Japan Railway (JR West) earlier this year after it fined the company in June 2020 for a job mix-up that caused the delay, the daily Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

He is demanding 2.2 million yen (Dh70,908) in damages for the mental distress caused by the ordeal, the report said.

The driver was supposed to take an empty train to a garage at Okayama Station in western Japan, but hit the wrong platform.

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The mix-up delayed the driver change and resulted in the train leaving the station and arriving at the depot a minute later than planned, the newspaper said.

The company argues that it was appropriate to cut the driver’s wages as no work was done during the mix-up.

A spokesman for JR West confirmed the lawsuit against AFP on Thursday and declined to comment “as the lawsuit is pending”.

“The reason this became a lawsuit is because of differences in interpretation,” he said, adding that the company had used its no work, no wage rule to cut driver wages.

The unnamed man argues that the delay was a minor human error and should not have been considered absent.

Japan’s rail system is known to be efficient and punctual and is regularly cited as an example of networks around the world.

In 2017, a local rail operator made international headlines after apologizing for the “enormous nuisance” caused by a train departing 20 seconds earlier.


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