Fri, Apr 09, 2010 - Page 12 News List

Nan Shan bidders disregard employees: lawmaker

By Ted Yang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Amid controversy surrounding the stalled sale of Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Pan Meng-an (潘孟安) yesterday called on the Council of Labor Affairs to take a tough line to ensure the rights and interests of the company’s employees.

Pan’s remarks came after a consortium led by Primus Financial Holdings Ltd (博智金融) and China Strategic Holdings Ltd (中策集團) recently placed an advertisement in local newspapers to promote “sustainable management” while ignoring the employees’ appeal for fair labor and health insurance coverage.

Accompanied by council officials and representatives from the Taipei City Government’s Department of Labor and Nan Shan, Pan said the Hong Kong-based consortium was attempting to evade hundreds of thousands of insurance payments by defining the relationship between the life insurer and its employees as “contractual.”

Lan Wei-ting (藍維鼎), a Nan Shan manager, said that if the consortium succeeded on that front, it would avoid paying more than NT$1 billion (US$31.7 million) in labor and health insurance premiums for employees.

Pan said the Department of Labor confirmed the “employment relationship” on three occasions — Dec. 2, 2005, Feb. 2 and Feb. 12 this year — and fined the insurance company a total of NT$500,000 over a period of five months.

“It is clear that Primus Financial only covets Nan Shan’s assets, which are worth more than NT$1 trillion, and would trample the rights and interests of the company’s employees while ignoring Taiwanese laws,” Pan told a press conference.

With the acquisition still pending review by the Ministry of Economic Affair’s Investment Commission, Pan requested that the regulator ensure the “employment relationship” between the life insurer and its employees before granting approval for the application.

Nan Shan made a profit of NT$10.5 billion last year, second only to Fubon Life Insurance Co (富邦人壽) with NT$10.83 billion. Its net asset value was NT$145 billion, the highest in the insurance sector, data provided by Pan showed.

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