March 16, 2023
TAIPEI – Taiwanese shipping giant Evergreen Marine has done it again.
After making headlines for rewarding employees last December with massive year-end bonuses worth up to 52 months’ pay, it will next give its workers mid-year bonuses worth another 10 to 11 months of salary for their 2022 performance.
This brings the potential combined bonuses for 2022 to more than five years’ pay.
The company this week posted a record net profit of NT$334.2 billion (S$14.7 billion) for its financial year ending Dec 31, 2022 – an increase of 39.82 per cent year on year – thanks to the rebound of the global container shipping industry following the lifting of Covid-19 lockdowns in many countries, as well as soaring shipping prices.
News of the generous payouts has been widely shared on social media, with Facebook users in Taiwan saying that they were “very envious” of Evergreen Marine’s workers.
In a January survey by popular job portal Yes123, respondents picked the shipping company as their No. 1 dream employer in the “old economy” category – the second consecutive year that it was ranked top of the list.
In 2021, the company set a record for the highest year-end bonus ever paid by a listed Taiwanese company when it handed out 40 months in bonus.
Evergreen Marine did not immediately respond to The Straits Times’ request for comment, though it previously told local reporters that workers were compensated based on their performance.
Local media outlets put the average salary at the company at around NT$60,000 – or about S$2,600.
Taiwan is rife with online discussions over which companies will hand out the biggest bonuses.
Professor Cheng Chih-yu, a labour policy expert at National Chengchi University in Taipei, said bonuses potentially count heavily in an employee’s total compensation.
This is especially important, given how wages in Taiwan have remained practically frozen for years.
“Some companies choose to give low fixed monthly salaries for years and reward employees with bigger bonuses instead, because it saves them money overall,” Prof Cheng told ST.
“If they raise monthly wages, then they would have to fork out more in the long term for workers’ insurance plans and pensions.”