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News Outlook Conducting Joint Inspections on Travel Agencies and Tour Bus Companies to Protect the Labor Rights and Interests of Drivers and Ensure Public Safety

In order to prevent future casualties and fatalities caused by tour bus accidents from occurring, protect the labor rights and interests of drivers, and ensure public safety, the Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Transportation and Communications, and the Consumer Protection Committee (Executive Yuan) announced on February 16 the Travel Agency and Tour Bus Industry Joint Inspection Project. The relevant agencies will carry out inspections to ensure, supervise and urge industry comply with laws governing labor, traffic, and consumer protection.

Kuo Kuo-wen, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Labor, stated that tour bus drivers often drive while fatigue due to travel itineraries, schedules, and long distances. This endangers both passenger and public safety. In order to effectively urge the industry to implement safety regulations, from now on priority will be given to joint inspections on businesses that are frequent offenders, have incurred serious violations or performed poorly in evaluations. Inspections will focus on the number of working hours and leave, overwork prevention measures, vehicle dispatch orders, rental contracts, driving records, and whether or not itineraries and schedules are appropriately arranged. Any violations will be penalized in accordance with the law and reviews are to be scheduled for within the next three months.

The Ministry of Labor reiterates that no business entity has the right to infringe upon any person's labor rights and interests for any reason whatsoever. If an entity regularly infringes upon labor rights and interests or endangers public safety in a bid to earn more profit, they will be punished severely in accordance with the law, the most severe of which would be suspension of business operations or revocation of their licenses.

Key words: Travel Agencies, Tour Buses, Joint Inspection

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