Bus company fined for refusing service to 'perfumed' migrant workers
Taichung, July 5 (CNA) A Taichung bus driver who verbally abused and refused service to migrant workers for wearing too much perfume received a serious demerit and caused his company to be fined by the city government on Saturday.
A YouTube video uploaded on Friday showed the driver, surnamed Chao (趙), getting off his route 97 Southeast Bus to smell three migrant workers waiting at the Youshi-You 9th Intersection bus stop at Yu Shi Industrial Park before only letting two workers on the bus.
He refused to let one of the workers get on the bus and hand gestured for him to leave, the video showed.
However, the video followed the driver to another bus stop and the driver did not adopt the same "smelling criteria" for Taiwanese-looking passengers.
Towards the end of the video, the driver is seen verbally abusing another migrant worker, screaming at him to get off the bus for wearing too much perfume.
"Get out! You are wearing too much perfume!," the driver screamed in the video.
Huang Yu-yao (黃淯耀), manager of Southeast Bus, said after being notified of the matter by a migrant worker broker agency, investigations found that the driver contended he was allergic to perfume and had allergic reactions on his skin.
However, the driver still received a serious demerit because verbal abuse and refusing a passenger on board the bus are not tolerated, Huang said.
The driver has only been on the job for around two months and mainly serves the route between National Yuanli Senior High School and Taichung Airport via Yu Shi Industrial Park, Huang said.
He added that the driver should have notified the bus company if he has any allergic issues.
Currently, the driver is still serving the same route, but has been asked by the company to keep his mask on at all times and to open the driver's side window for fresh air, Huang said.
If he continues to have allergic reactions, then the driver will be asked if he wants to change to another bus route, Huang said.
Chen Wen-cheng (陳文政), deputy chief of the city's Public Transportation and Rapid Transit System Office, said Southeast Bus has been fined NT$5,000 (US$170) because of the driver's refusal to allow a passenger to ride the bus.
Security cameras installed on the bus will also be reviewed to look for any other related violations, Chen said.
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