TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — When U.S. President Joe Biden championed labor union involvement in the construction of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s (TSMC) U.S. plant last year, company founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) was not happy, the 91-year-old revealed at a Taipei forum on Tuesday (July 4).
Speaking at TSMC’s new semiconductor plant in Arizona in December 2022, Biden said more than 3,000 union workers were helping to build the new fab. “The second fab will be built with union labor as well,” Biden said.
“Hearing these words was a little painful”, Chang said, per the Commercial Times. In his speech, Biden continued to praise the benefits of unions for business, calling unionized workers “the best in the world.”
Chang also spoke of his anti-union stance in 2016, linking ununionized workers with the success of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and others. “One of the keys to their success is that they don’t have unions, because for a company to succeed, everybody has to work together.”
Chang told Commonwealth that unions could achieve benefits such as slightly higher wages and fewer working hours, but in the short term only.
The issue of working hours has challenged TSMC’s labor relations in the U.S., with employees complaining about the company’s “brutal” workplace culture in June. “Twelve-hour days are standard, weekend shifts are common,” an American TSMC employee said.
Morris Chang addresses the forum on Tuesday. (CNA photo)