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Chance for independent unions after decades of state control

Hadiz, V.R. (1999) Chance for independent unions after decades of state control. In: Aspinall, Edward, Feith, Herb and van Klinken, Gerry, (eds.) The last days of President Suharto. Monash Asia Institute, Clayton, Victoria, pp. 145-147.


Throughout the 32 years of President Suharto's rule, he presided over the domestication and control of virtually all society-based movements and organisations. Among the more prominent 'victims' of this policy has been organised
labour. But the end of Suharto's authoritarian rule may provide a window of opportunity for independent trade unionism in Indonesia.

Since 1973, the Indonesian government has only recognised one labour
organisation, in its present incarnation called the FSPSI (Federation of All-Indonesian Workers Unions). It was established by the government initially to
exclude the possibility of independent labour unions being set up over which there could be little control. The domestication of organised labour was in fact an important facet of the political agenda of theN ew Order because workers constituted one of the main pillars of support for the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), the armed forces' main rival prior to 1965.

Publication Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation: Asia Research Centre
Publisher: Monash Asia Institute
Copyright: Monash Asia Institute
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