Workers and intellectuals: NGOs, trade unions and the Indonesian labour movement

SKU: 9789067183550 Category:

After decades of repression, Indonesia’s independent labour movement re-emerged in the 1990s led by the NGO activists and students who organised industrial workers and spoke on their behalf. Worker-led trade unions returned to centre stage in 1998 when Suharto’s authoritarian regime crumbled and labour NGO activists and their organisations continued to play an influential – and often controversial – part in the reconstruction of the labour movement. Workers and intellectuals explores how middle-class activists struggled to define their place in a movement shaped by more than a century of fierce debate about the role of non-worker intellectuals. Drawing on extensive interviews, this book documents the resurgence of labour activism and explains how activists and workers perceived the position of NGOs in relation to workers and trade unions. This fine-grained study of labour organising in a developing country speaks simultaneously to local and global questions and is important for scholars of labour history, politics and sociology as well as specialists working on Indonesia. Michele Ford chairs the Department of Indonesian Studies at the University of Sydney. Her research focuses on the Indonesian labour movement, labour transnationalism and trade union responses to labour migration.

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