State-run firms' workers rally against bonus cut resolution
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Around 50,000 employees of state-run enterprises yesterday took to the streets to protest against a legislative resolution that sharply cut their operation performance bonus, calling for the government to settle the controversial issue.
February 3, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
The Legislative Yuan resolved in mid-January that employees of state-run enterprises can enjoy a performance bonus only if their companies rake in profits and that the maximum amount of such a bonus is set at the equivalent of 1.2-month's salary, which will be retroactive to 2011.
To express their strong opposition to the resolution, some 50,000 protesters, including employees and their family members rallied on Ketagalan Blvd., in front of the Presidential Office. They demanded a constitutional interpretation of the resolution.
Chuang Chueh-an, chairman of the Taiwan Petroleum Workers' Union, said that the legislative resolution to cut the performance bonuses for employees at state-run enterprises and set a uniform ceiling on such bonuses has seriously undermined the administrative sector's right to determine bonus payments for those employees.
Chao Ming-yuan, chairman of the confederation of trade unions of Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor Co., Ltd., blasted the Legislative Yuan for failing to evaluate the respective operation records of various state-run enterprises before making the resolution.
Chao said that Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor scored pretax earnings of NT$12 billion and after-tax earnings of NT$11 billion in 2012, but employees at the company will be forced to face the same reduced performance bonus ceiling of 1.2-month's pay. “This seems to hint that it's useless for our employees to work too hard,” Chao said.
He said that it's reasonable for state-run enterprises to dole out an operating performance bonus only when the enterprises achieve profits in any given year. He noted, however, that different state-run firms tend to work in-line with different government policies, and such a situation may hurt profits.
He stressed that an operating performance bonus shouldn't be subject to any ceiling limit, and should be given totally in accordance with the profit performance of any state-run company.
Chairman Hu Kuo-kang of the labor union of Taiwan Power Company said that over the past 60 years, Taipower has been the paragon of state-run enterprises. Hu noted that the Ministry of Economic Affairs has consistently been giving Taipower an overall operating performance of “A,” though in 2011 this dropped to a “B.”
“The B rating has seriously hurt the dignity of Taipower employees,” he said.
In response, Liu Ming-chung, executive director of the State-owned Enterprise Commission under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, said that the grievances of employees at state-run enterprises are reasonable, but the ministry has no right to change the Legislative Yuan resolution.