Overwork Suspected in Death of Keelung Bus Driver

keelung bus
Photo by Ka243280 via Wikimedia Commons

Authorities are pointing to overwork in the death of a 53-year-old bus driver in Keelung on Monday night.

The public bus driver surnamed Wu (吳) was found dead in the restroom at the Keelung Bus Terminal at 11:30 pm, well after his shift ended, UDN reported. Mr. Wu reportedly took a rest at 1 pm and was supposed to leave work at 5:40 pm. Station staff noticed that his bus was not parked in the appropriate area at 8 pm and began searching for him.

Police are still investigating the exact cause of death, but preliminary observations indicate the driver may have suffered health issues due to overwork. The driver’s family said he was in good health and had no medical conditions.

Over the last month, Wu regularly worked 9-hour shifts, with some 10-hour shifts. He only took four or five days off the entire month, according to the bus company, but a colleague noted that Wu only had three days’ rest in the month. Supervisors said that Wu had been asked to cover additional shifts as the bus company was short-staffed with two drivers taking leave. He was compensated for the overtime according to Taiwan’s Labor Law.

The Ministry of Labor said that it appears Wu’s working hours adhered to the law. The company said that the additional hours last month were only temporary.

Wu was a 15-year veteran bus driver with a good record, according to the bus company. The company said that it will assist in funeral arrangements.

In 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that one person in Taiwan dies on the job every 11 days due to overwork. A recent survey by 1111 Job Bank claims that 88% of workers in Taiwan face some form of abuse from bosses, with most saying that the work environment creates mental stress.

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