BYD employee dies, family blames overwork

Asian Tech Press (Nov 17) -- An employee at Chinese automaker BYD Co Ltd (BYDDF: OTC US), reportedly died suddenly in a rented house two weeks ago, and his family said it was related to his overwork in the company.

According to a report by Chinese media The Paper on Wednesday, the police issued a notice of investigation opinion on the sudden death of the BYD worker, showing that it has been ruled out the possibility of a criminal case.

The deceased's family said they believe that his accidental death, was related to the continuous overtime and high-intensity work he had done before his death. However, the specific cause of death of this BYD employee is still unclear because no autopsy was done.

The 36-year-old man surnamed Wang, who has been working at BYD since 2009, was an employee of the 11th Division of BYD Auto Co., Ltd, BYD's automotive subsidiary.

After Wang's death, his relatives retrieved his work clock-in records from his cell phone. The deceased's clock-in record showed that he worked about 280 hours in October, with 26 days working around 12 hours on a single day. From October 28 to November 3, Wang worked seven consecutive night shifts, six of which were 12 hours long.

China's Labor Contract Law states that the employer should guarantee workers have reasonable working hours and rest and vacation time, and employees' daily working hours should not exceed 8 hours. If the working hours need to be extended for special reasons, the daily working hours shall not be more than 11 hours, and the working hours can be 11 hours per day for a maximum of 12 days per month.

A family member of the BYD worker said that after his cousin's sudden death, the family has repeatedly negotiated with the relevant personnel of BYD. But BYD personnel believe that Wang died in a rented house, and the company has nothing to do with it.

"In the beginning, they said they would pay 20,000 to 30,000 yuan ($3,134-4,701), and now they say they will pay 60,000 to 70,000 yuan ($9,402-10,969). Plus the refund of his housing provident fund and social security fund, etc., there may be about 150,000 yuan ($23,505), " the deceased's cousin said.

"Although he did not die in the company, we feel that his death and the previous long-term high-intensity night shifts is somewhat related," he added.

(US$1 = 6.3808 yuan)

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