New Trade Union Activists in Shaping Childcare Policies in Taiwan

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 09:10
Oral Presentation
Chia-Ling YANG, National Kaohsiung Normal University, Taiwan, Graduate Institute of Gender Equity Education, National Kaohsiung Normal University, Taiwan
In Taiwan’s historical and political context of more than 35 years of martial law (1949-1987) under a dictatorial government, trade unions were suppressed and controlled and it is until the recent change of Trade Unions Law in 2011 that the Industrial Unions are allowed to be established. Accordingly, Alliance of Edu-care Trade Unions (alliance of local trade unions for child carers and preschool teachers) was one of the new Industrial Unions and they participate actively in the change of childcare policies in Taiwan.

There have been several essential changes in childcare policies during the two decades in Taiwan and Early Childhood Education and Care Act in 2012 makes childcare of children between 3 and 6 years old under the Ministry of Education and this new act also changes regulations regarding to the qualifications and working conditions of preschool teachers and child carers.

This research focuses on the Alliance of Edu-care Trade Unions, especially on those activie members who are new faces in social movements. With the focus of personal experiences in social welfare movement, this article intends to examine how these new activists are moblized into trade unions, how they shape their strategies in discourses and their social actions and how they balance between their different roles in daily life. Since there are few research on Taiwan’s women’s trade unions and newly established Industrial Unions, this research aims to fill the gap in the research and have further dialogue with feminist theories on women in civil society, labour movement and social welfare movement.