Taiwan State Overview

Taiwan State Overview


In connection with the Chinese revolution in 1949, the leaders of the Kuomintang party fled to the island of Taiwan. The Taiwanese government still claims to be the rightful heirs to the Chinese government. Taiwan has been economically successful and is one of the “Asian tigers”. The country has both a traditional trade union movement and trade union innovators.

Country Facts

State condition: Republic and parliamentarism, strong presidential power

Surface: 35,900 km2

Capital: Taipei

Language: Mandarin (official), min, hakka mm

Labor market and economy:

The gradual democratization of Taiwan has been followed by continued good economic development. Taiwan is one of Asia’s original so-called tiger states, the spectacular economic growth gained momentum as early as the early 1960’s. In 1997, when the whole region was hit by the “Asia crisis”, Taiwan did far better than other countries. Although growth slowed, there was never a deep crisis. Unemployment remained extremely low. Taiwan, too, in contrast to South Korea, has no foreign debt. On the contrary, the country houses one of the world’s largest capital reserves. Unlike the situation in Japan, the Taiwanese banking system is also stable.


For a long time, only one trade union organization existed in Taiwan, the Chinese Federation of Labor (CFL). The CFL was controlled by the Kuomintang, ie the only party allowed until 2000. The Kuomintang is currently in opposition. CFL is a member of the ITUC.

The scope for protests and genuine union work was long severely curtailed in Taiwan, including strikes and union demonstrations were banned. In the mid-1980’s, discontent grew and more and more workers demanded union rights. From 1987 it became legal to strike. However, the dissatisfaction continued and also directed at CFL. During the 1990’s, several new trade unions were formed. The most important of these is the Taiwan Confederation of Labor (TCTU), which was formed in 1997. TCTU was formally approved in 2000 when a new law on extended trade union rights was adopted. TCTU has close ties to the currently ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). TCTU has developed cooperation with trade unions in Europe, among other places. Several of the affiliates within TCTU are alsoactive in the work of defending human rights in working life, including the right to organize in a trade union. Within IndustriAll, there are three member organizations in Taiwan, two of which are members of both TCTU and CFL.


Central trade unions : Taiwan Confederation of Trade Unions (TCTU) and Chinese Federation of Labor (CFL). CFL is a member of the World Trade Union ITUC. Visit themakeupexplorer for Trade Unions in Eastern Asia.

Taiwan State Overview