A Japanese train driver is prosecuting the company he works for, for deducting 56 yen (half a dollar) from his salary as a punishment for the delay in the arrival of a train he was driving for a minute, the company announced Thursday. And the “Yomiuri Shimbun” newspaper reported that the driver filed a complaint at the beginning of this year against the “West Japan Railway Company” (GRWest), one of the most important railway companies in Japan, after the latter imposed a fine on him for committing a professional error, represented by: A train he was driving was delayed by a minute, in June 2020.
The plaintiff is seeking damages of 2.2 million yen ($19,300) for the moral injury he suffered, according to the newspaper. The driver was supposed to deliver an empty train to a sideline at Okayama Train Station in western Japan, but he miscalculated the correct platform.
This error led to a delay in changing the driver, which was reflected in a delay in the departure of the train from the station, and its arrival at its destination after a minute of the specified time. The company asserts that it is authorized to deduct this amount from the employee’s salary, saying that this difference in time did not witness any step.
A GR West spokesperson explained that “the reason for bringing this case to court is related to a difference in the way the delay is interpreted,” noting that the company implemented its “no work, no salary” policy. On the other hand, the employee confirms that the aforementioned delay was caused by a slight human error and not from absence during work hours. Japan’s railway network is often seen as an example for its efficiency and punctuality. In 2017, a Japanese train operator apologized for the “enormous inconvenience” caused by a train leaving 20 seconds early.