Navigating the Youth Turn in Taiwan’s Labor Politics

An SNF Agora Case Study

Cover of "Youth Turn in Taiwan Labor Politics" case studyFaced with limited resources, how can a youth-focused labor NGO support young workers who need help now while also building long-term organizing power?      

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This case study focuses on the Youth Labor Union 95 (YLU95), a labor NGO based in Taipei, Taiwan. When it was founded in 2008, YLU95 initially offered legal support to youth who were struggling with work-related issues. But the group faced challenges to its larger strategic efforts to organize workers around issues particularly relevant to young people, including youth poverty, holiday work, minimum wage violations, and insurance evasion. Recognizing that their legal casework did not give young workers an opportunity to form broader connections and build a sense of camaraderie with the greater labor movement, the YLU95 faced a choice-point in determining a new strategy to address the general lack of collective identity among young workers in Taipei.

This case is appropriate for:

  • High school, college, and graduate students
  • Community and youth organizers
  • Labor organizers and union leaders
  • Civil society leaders

By the end of this case study, you should be able to:

  1. Appreciate the importance and distinctiveness of youth issues in labor politics.
  2. Understand the unique challenges of organizing young workers in particular.
  3. Understand the function of identity construction in a sustainable, effective youth movement
        generally.
  4. Identify examples of effective organizing on university campuses.

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