Left-wing Trade Unionism in Indonesia after the Second World War

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper presented at Conference (not in Proceedings)

Abstract

This presentation examines the politics of Indonesia’s largest post-World War II trade union federation, the left-wing SOBSI (Sentral Organisasi Buruh Seluruh Indonesia, Central Organisation of Indonesian Trade Unions). Founded in 1946 during the war of independence against the Dutch, SOBSI was affiliated to the Soviet-aligned World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU). The murder and detention of many SOBSI leaders and activists in the Indonesian anti-communist killings of 1965-66 have submerged the role of this important global labour movement actor. Through interviews with and oral histories of Indonesian unionists, as well as a reexamination of the SOBSI archives and publications held in Indonesia and around the world, I investigate Indonesian labour activists’
relationship with the broader global labour movement. It discusses their efforts to introduce ideas of reform and social change to newly independent Indonesia, and the sources of such ideas that possibly pre-dated the Second World War. What challenges lay for leftist trade unions in a predominantly agriculture-based country that had so recently suffered the effects of war and colonial occupation?
What wellsprings of ideas did they draw on to guide their efforts?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2018
EventFrom Brussels to Bandung? Transnationalism, reform movements, and decolonization in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean - KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies, Leiden, Netherlands
Duration: 27 Nov 201828 Nov 2018

Conference

ConferenceFrom Brussels to Bandung? Transnationalism, reform movements, and decolonization in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean
CountryNetherlands
CityLeiden
Period27/11/1828/11/18

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