Japan: A train driver sues his employer for 0.43 euros

 A Japanese train driver is suing his employer who withheld 56 yen (0.43 euros) from his salary as a penalty for his convoy arriving a minute late, the company said on Thursday.

The driver filed a lawsuit earlier this year against West Japan Railway Company (JR West), one of Japan's major rail companies, which fined him for misconduct - a one-minute delay - in June 2020, reported the daily Yomiuri Shimbun.

He is claiming 2.2 million yen (16,815 euros) in damages for the moral damage caused by this ordeal, the newspaper said.

The driver was supposed to move an empty train to a siding at Okayama Station in western Japan, but ended up on the wrong platform.

This error delayed the change of conductor, and the train left the station and arrived at the depot one minute later than expected.

The company maintains that it was appropriate to withhold this error from the employee's salary, arguing that no work had been performed during this period of time.

"The reason why this case has been brought to justice is due to a difference in the way of interpreting" the cause of the delay, told AFP a spokesman for JR West, stressing that the company had applied its "no work, no pay" rule.

For his part, the employee argues that the delay in question is due to a minor human error and not to an absence during his working time.

The Japanese railway system, renowned for its efficiency and punctuality, is regularly cited as an example in the world.

In 2017, a local train operator made international headlines after offering a sincere apology for the "huge inconvenience" caused by a train departing 20 seconds early.