Up to 4.6 months' bonus for state firm workers
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Employees of state-owned enterprises may receive up to 4.6 months' salary as year-end bonuses for 2011 despite mounting losses in three out of the five firms.
December 29, 2012, 12:05 am TWN
CPC Corp., Taiwan (台灣中油) takes the lead with bonuses of 2.6 months' salary, 1.65 months' at Taiwan Power Co. (台電), and 1.46, 1.31, and 1.88 months' at Taiwan Water Corp. (台水), Taiwan Sugar Corp. (台糖) and Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. (AIDC, 漢翔), respectively.
Employees at all five of the listed enterprises also stand to possibly receive an additional 2 months' salary in “review bonuses,” which in CPC's case means that an employee may potentially receive up to 4.6 months' salary in bonuses.
Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-hsiang (施顏祥) yesterday responded to criticism of the generous bonus scheme, stating that the losses incurred by the state-owned enterprises are the result of shouldering the burdens of government policies, and not due to malfeasance or incompetence.
Encouragement is due for all the hardworking employees of state-owned companies, he said, adding that the bonus schemes are in compliance with codes and precedents.
Following the April announcements of price hikes in both gas and electricity, the operations of related state-owned enterprises came under intense public scrutiny. In 2011, CPC and Taipower incurred losses of NT$74 billion and NT$68 billion, respectively.
Liu Ming-chung (劉明忠), chief executive officer of the State-owned Enterprise Commission under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, yesterday explained that the losses incurred by Taisugar and Taipower are due to the effects of decisions made by the government and that, in Taipower's case, the costs of powering streetlights, the water system and maintaining off-island electrical grids were supposed to have been paid by local governments or governing departments. Ultimately, however, these losses were absorbed by Taipower, he said.
Liu added that Taipower also absorbed the brunt of the rising cost of fuel around the globe, as it kept electricity prices low, as dictated by the government. The situation is similar for CPC, which did not fully reflect the rising costs of gas, diesel, and natural gas, absorbing nearly NT$73 billion in costs and an additional NT$900 million in public transportation subsidies, incurring total losses of NT$74 billion.
Taisugar, one of the only profitable state-owned enterprises, was earlier criticized by opposition lawmakers, including Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信), Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) and Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), for counting the proceeds of sales of state-owned land into its performance assessment.