Sat, May 24, 2008 - Page 12 News List

CPC's benefits for workers too good: consumers group

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The Ministry of Economic Affairs should review employee benefits at the state-run oil company, a Consumers' Foundation (消基會) official said yesterday, adding that the benefits were too good for a company claiming to have suffered heavy losses because of rising oil prices.

The appeal came one day after Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) announced that the government would implement gasoline and electricity price hikes on June 2 under the floating oil pricing mechanism to better reflect soaring international oil prices.

DIRE STRAITS

As the premier did not elaborate on the details of the price hikes, it is widely speculated that gas will rise by between NT$5 and NT$6 per liter.

CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) has repeatedly said that soaring global oil prices have sent its operational costs rocketing and fixed domestic oil prices — frozen by the former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration since last December — have led to huge deficits.

BIG BONUSES

Despite the deficits, Consumers’ Foundation chairman Cheng Jen-hung (程仁宏) said, the company will still hand out enviable year-end bonuses amounting to 4.6 months of salary to its employees.

In addition, Cheng said that CPC employees enjoyed an average monthly salary of NT$70,000 and that CPC employees were entitled to a NT$3-per-liter discount at gas stations.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Health benefits are also generous, Cheng said. When CPC employees visit company clinics, they pay a fee of NT$50, or one-third the average fee at other clinics or hospitals, he said.

Cheng said the ministry and the company should not turn a blind eye by allowing the company to maintain such high employee benefits at the expense of the public.

Cheng also said electricity prices from June to September were already 20 percent higher than they were during the rest of the year.

If the government implements the hikes in July, electricity prices will shoot up by 30 percent, Cheng said.

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