Taipei, April 19 (CNA) The privatization of the oil company CPC Corp., Taiwan is still being negotiated because its workers' union has concerns regarding the issue, Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang said Thursday.
In order to improve the efficiency and performance of the state-run company, it must be privatized, but if the Ministry of Economic Affairs fails to convince the workers' union to approve the proposal, steps may have to be taken to revise the legislative resolution on which the union's involvement is based, the minister said.
However, the ministry will try harder to reach an agreement with the workers' union, Shih said shortly before reporting to the Legislature on CPC's performance, human resources practices, procurement and privatization.
The decision to privatize CPC was made a long time ago by the Cabinet, and the Legislature stipulated in a resolution that the consent of the company's workers' union is required to carry out the process, Shih noted.
But Legislator Gao Jyh-peng of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said the ministry was defaming the workers' union and had misled the public into believing that the union was trying to stop the privatization because it was not in the workers' interests.
The privatization process is likely to take four years, according to CPC Corp. President Chu Shao-hua.
On the question of whether fuel prices will rise again after the company's privatization, Shih said he could not rule out that possibility because of the freer oil market. The government can only help by monitoring prices, he added.
The operations of the oil company have been under closer scrutiny since fuel prices were raised earlier this month.
(By Lin Meng-ju and Kendra Lin)