State firm employees to rally over bonus cuts
By Ann Yu ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Workers from government-run firms announced their plans to take to the streets over the weekend in protest of their performance bonus cuts this year.
January 13, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
Union workers from state-owned firms under the economic, finance, and communications and transportation ministries, as well as the Financial Supervisory Commission, said they will stage a demonstration on Jan. 30 to voice their anger and disappointment with the government.
In a jointly released statement, they complained that the government's plan to reform the performance bonus system is too extreme, and that employees should not be the ones to pay for the government's incompetent handling of the economy.
Premier Sean Chen acknowledged the hard work of state-run firm employees and has instructed related bureaus to re-evaluate the performance bonus cuts, spokesperson Cheng Li-wen said yesterday.
She explained that the premier has instructed the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, and the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission to analyze and review the current performance bonus policies of the state-owned firms. She added that Chen has requested that they draft mechanisms for the new system within two months.
Chen has asked that they draft changes that conform to public expectations and that don't exploit the affected employees, Cheng said.
Workers decided to pressure the government after lawmakers reached a consensus Monday to cap the performance bonus for state-owned company employees at a maximum of 1.2-months salary. The Legislature has requested the Cabinet draft the amendments along their guidelines within three months.
Cheng said that the bonus reform should be based on fairness and logic instead of simply slashing the bonuses of all state firm employees in half, as their firms are operated for different purposes and have different responsibilities.
China Petroleum Union Director Chuang Jue-an said that implementing the performance bonuses with a ceiling of 2.6-months salary has been the policy for state-owned firms for a long time. It is unfair and rash to perform such cuts so abruptly, he said.
Economic Affairs Minister Shih Yen-shiang has hinted that the performance bonus system for state firms may be outdated, pointing out that it was drafted some 20 years ago.
Shih said he agreed to the reform plan but stressed that a new system should take into consideration the differences of each industry.