12 April 2004 00:01 [Source: ACN]
THE privatisation of Taiwan’s Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC) will not take place this year, a CPC source told ACN.
CPC’s sale had originally been scheduled for 2001 and then extended to end-2003 (ACN 26 August 2002). When talks between CPC’s labour unions and management stalled late last year, the company hoped that a solution could be found after last month’s presidential election.
Now, however, CPC’s owner, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA), has written to the Legislative Yuan asking for a 1½-year timeframe in which to complete the sale of the company. The new timeframe, the source said, would take effect from the day the Legislative Yuan approved the MoEA’s request.
Meanwhile, the unions and the management had resumed discussions, the source said. He had told ACN last year that the unions had virtually abandoned the discussions after saying it was ‘useless’ to continue having them (ACN 29 September 2003).
The source said the unions had declared that it was useless to talk to a management that had no power to grant what they were asking for: guarantees that salaries would not be reduced and no jobs lost if an investor bought a stake in CPC.
The management’s position was that it was not empowered by the statute for transferring state-owned enterprises to privately owned enterprises to give those guarantees.
With the presidential election over, the two sides had reopened talks. But the source said it was clear that the unions were waiting for ‘some signals’ from their contacts – politicians in the Legislative Yuan and other government bodies – before taking the discussions forward.
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