From Unionism to Youth Activism: Taiwan’s Politics of Working Hours


Ho Ming-sho

in China Information, 34(3): 406-426

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Abstract: This article examines two major protests related to working-hour reforms in Taiwan in 2000 and 2016–18, paying particular attention to the shift in the composition of protesters from union members to youth activists. The decline in mass membership and the failure to consolidate a national federation have diminished the political presence of labour unions. The emergence of youth protest movements, both before and after the 2014 Sunflower Movement, made possible the advent of Taiwan’s youth as political actors. The reconfiguration of Taiwan’s working hour politics has paralleled the global transition from the classical organization-based collective action to the digitally enabled ‘connective action’. The concluding section provides reflections on the impacts as well as the limitations of this newer form of labour politics.

About the author: Ho Ming-sho was a HYI Visiting Scholar from 2018-19.