Postal union warns of more protests over controversy

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Fri, May 17, 2019 - Page 3

If the Executive Yuan fails to respond to the China Postal Workers’ Union request for an investigation into the lease of a storage center at Chunghwa Post Logistics Park within 15 days, the union might stage another, larger, protest or even launch a strike, it said yesterday.

More than 300 union members yesterday protested against the Executive Yuan’s decision to replace Chunghwa Post president Chen Shian-juh (陳憲著) and chairman Louis Wei (魏建宏), on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, for failing to properly oversee the procurement project.

The sackings were “a ruthless move” that greatly harmed the credibility and reputation of postal workers, the union said.

“We were concerned that postal workers handling the project might be also punished after the company’s chairman and president were asked to step down,” union chairman Wu Wen-feng (吳文豐) said.

The government spent NT$28 billion (US$898.44 million at the current exchange rate) building the logistics park, and the storage center is only one of the five large buildings planned for the property to have been built, Wu said.

How can the company continue overseeing the project in the wake of the controversy, he asked.

The logistics park is not the first case of political intervention in public procurement projects, be they employees’ physical examinations to the purchase of raincoats and electric motorcycles, he said.

The Executive Yuan had accused Chen of benefiting a specific business operator, only to announce on Wednesday that the company should sign a contract with PCHome, which was rated as the No. 1 contractor during the tendering process, Wu said.

This shows that the tendering process was legal, and the success of the contract has been key in helping the company transform its business model, he said.

“If the project fails, other interested investors might refrain from tendering for the contracts for the four other buildings in the logistics park,” he said.

“We hope that Executive Yuan can hear our voice. Besides telling PChome that it legally secured the contract, it should also assure that our rights and benefits are not affected. or else no postal worker will want to handle public procurement projects in the logistics park,” Wu said.

Union vice chairman Chan Yi-hsin (詹一新) said that the Executive Yuan has ruined Chunghwa Post’s credibility and reputation that it had painstakingly established over the decades by accepting lobbying by certain legislators, who accused the company of misusing its power for the profit of certain private individuals.

“On the surface, these legislators said that they care about the development and use of the nation’s logistics platform, but what they did is hurting its development,” Chan said.