Chunghwa Express Co employees yesterday began a nationwide strike after failing to secure a raise following two years of negotiations with the company’s management.
The first group of workers to strike were from the company’s offices in Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu City and Yilan County, the Chunghwa Express Workers’ Union said.
The delivery firm, which is a subsidiary of state-run Chunghwa Post, receives most of its revenue from delivering checks and other paperwork for local financial institutions.
Photo: Chen Hsin-yu, Taipei Times
“Because of the strike, our clients must deliver the paperwork themselves,” Chunghwa Express chairman Huang Cheng-chung (黃振忠). “It has taken the company a while to gain the trust of banks and other clients, now we might lose their trust because of a trivial matter.”
Huang said he would propose giving employees a raise at an interim board meeting this month, but the board would make the final decision.
At a protest outside the Ministry of Transportation and Communications in Taipei yesterday morning, the union said Chunghwa Express should immediately give all employees a raise of NT$5,000 (US$168).
Huang accepted a petition from the union, but did not sign it.
Union members said they were angered when they saw a job advertisement offering contractors a monthly salary of NT$38,000, which is higher than employees’ pay.
When union members confronted management about the salary for contractors, they were told they were free to leave, the union said.
The company’s net profit after tax was NT$74.92 million in 2019, and giving 200 employees a raise would only increase personnel costs NT$1 million per month, the union said.
Profits generated by Chunghwa Express should not be used to feed the “fat cats,” retired management from Chunghwa Post who have stakes in the delivery firm, it said.
“The Ministry of Transportation and Communications oversees Chunghwa Post, and the ministry can influence board members from the postal firm,” the union said, adding that the ministry could promise a raise for Chunghwa Express employees.
Huang said that contractors are paid more because they need to have motorcycles and pay for gas, which costs about NT$3,000 per month.
The ministry issued a statement yesterday afternoon, saying that Chunghwa Post has been asked to ensure that its subsidiary created a fair and reasonable salary adjustment mechanism for its employees.
Entry-level workers at Chunghwa Express were given a raise of 1 to 5 percent on Oct. 1 last year, after it was ascertained that their salaries were low relative to their peers, the ministry said.
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