|dc.identifier.citation||Ford, M. (2013). Violent Industrial Protest in Indonesia: Cultural Phenomenon or Legacy of an Authoritarian Past? In Gregor Gall (Eds.), New Forms and Expressions of Conflict at Work, (pp. 171-190). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.||en_AU|
|dc.description.abstract||Indonesia has a long history of violent industrial conflict involving rioting and wide-scale destruction of property, in addition – and sometimes as an alternative – to more orthodox strike actions. Violent actions taken by wage labourers on the plantations as a form of protest against their employers were recorded in the archipelago since the nineteenth century (Stoler 1985, 1995). Episodes of violent industrial protest continued through the twentieth century, but were particularly common in industrial areas in the late 1980s and 1990s, at a time when independent labour organizing was forbidden under the punitive labour relations regime implemented by Suharto’s authoritarian New Order (1967-1998). Despite dramatic changes to the industrial relations system, including significant improvements in collective bargaining structures and in workers’ access to the freedom to organize, industrial violence continues to have a place in the repertoires of action of waged labour in contemporary Indonesia.
Many Indonesian authority figures, and some anthropologists, have described episodes of sudden and unexpected violent protest in cultural terms, drawing on concepts such as to run amok (mengamuk) and spirit possession (kesurupan). But, as the discussion that follows shows, while cultural (and historical) patterns may have a role in determining the contours of contemporary incidences of violent industrial protest, they clearly have roots in economic structure and the disjunctures between the rhetoric and practice of industrial relations. In the first part of the chapter, the cultural and structural arguments about violent industrial protest in Indonesia are mapped out with reference to major incidents of industrial violence in the 1980s and 1990s. In the second part, the chapter provides a detailed description of two very different large-scale incidents of industrial violence in the Batam free trade zone, the first apparently a culturally-motivated protest, the second clearly linked to an industrial dispute over the wage determination process, before going on to demonstrate that these incidents actually have a great deal in common. The chapter concludes by arguing that, despite dramatic changes in the industrial relations landscape since the fall of Suharto’s New Order regime in 1998, violent protests are likely to continue to occur as long as more ‘modern’ alternatives (like lawful strikes and collective bargaining) are perceived to be ineffective.||en_AU|
|dc.rights||The final, definitive version of this paper has been published as: Ford, M. (2013). Violent Industrial Protest in Indonesia: Cultural Phenomenon or Legacy of an Authoritarian Past? In Gregor Gall (Eds.), New Forms and Expressions of Conflict at Work, (pp. 171-190). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan. The definitive, published, version of record is available here: http://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9780230300071||en_AU|
|dc.title||Violent Industrial Protest in Indonesia: Cultural Phenomenon or Legacy of an Authoritarian Past?||en_AU|
|dc.description.addcoll||Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC)||en_AU|
|Appears in Collections:||SSEAC - Research Papers and Publications|