On Thursday morning a group of employees and wholesalers of the Tatung Chang Chi Oil Corporation presented a petition to the Changhua County Government alleging that the company’s chairman Kao Chen-li was attempting to weasel out of court-ordered payments to wholesalers who suffered losses because of Tatung’s mislabeling and mixing of oil products.
Criticizing Kao as a "very nasty man," a lawyer for the group said the Tatung chairman had asked system vendors to sign an agreement to hold Tatung to only 40% of the court-ordered amount and write off the remaining 60% to debt. They said the middlemen were also urged to help Kao out by testifying that Kao is a good man and asking judges to hand down a lighter sentence.
The county legal department had two of its lawyers discuss the situation with the 21 petitioners. The group said that Tatung had taken out newspaper ads claiming that a special account had been established to reimburse Tatung workers and ensure that they get their salaries and offering a sincere apology to consumers for any trouble they had suffered. The petitioners said this was far from the truth. They said Tatung had dispatched a lawyer to convince them to sign an agreement that would have compelled them to abandon many of their claims against the oil producer.
Changhua County Legal Director Chien Chin-huang said that Tatung had taken no steps to establish a fund such as the one mentioned in the newspaper ad, noting that funds for employee pensions and severance pay are directly deposited into designated accounts, and Tatung has not yet offered the county any concrete solutions these issues. The newspaper ad, said Chien, was largely self-serving and deceitful.
The wholesalers expressed their anger at Kao and Tatung for dragging out their responses to the court order, saying that Kao is "really a bad man." They cautioned the government that they are not willing to compromise with Kao on payments or any other issues.