Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC, 台灣高鐵) said yesterday that the three independent directors on its board had agreed to halve their salaries amid a public uproar over their high pay when the company’s finances remain firmly in the red.
The company said in a statement that its board held a meeting yesterday at which independent directors Lin Chen-kuo (林振國), Victor Liu (劉維琪) and George Chen (陳世圯) voluntarily agreed to cut their basic annual salaries to NT$900,000 (US$28,000) from NT$1.8 million.
THSRC said the cut in basic salaries would be retroactive to January this year, according to the statement.
The three independent directors, appointed by the government to sit on the rail company’s board, have been called “government fat cats” and criticized for being simultaneously paid by multiple public agencies.
While the government had asked the company to solve the issue as soon as possible, THSRC failed to address the matter at its annual general meeting last month, even though both Liu and Chen later told local media that they would be willing to have their salaries halved or even do their jobs for free.
Lin will still earn NT$1.62 million a year at THSRC as he also chairs the company’s audit committee, which pays him NT$720,000 a year. Both Liu and Chen will make NT$1.26 million each a year, as Liu heads the firm’s finance committee, for which he receives an annual salary of NT$360,000 and Chen the corporate governance committee, which also provides annual compensation of NT$360,000.