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Beyond Decent Work: The Cultural Political Economy of Labour Struggles in Indonesia

Discusses the decent work in Indonesia’s context beyond international labour’s definition. Revisits theories regarding research methodology, regulation theory, cultural political economy, critical grounded theory and research approach. Investigates influence of neoliberalism, feminization, and global labour regulations on decent work agenda. Sheds the light on history of labour organizations, trade unions’ strategies, labour movements and labour politics in Indonesia, from militant mass during the independent period to violent repression under Suharto’s era, and from democratic labour movements in Reformasi era until now where social dialogue, labours’ political power and economic power emerge. Compares scopes of decent work between “The Better Work Program” conducted by International Labour Organization (ILO) in Cambodia and Indonesia; and The Play Fair Alliance campaigned globally by international trade union federations. Investigates decent work in Indonesia’s garment, textile and shoes industries by using 2 approaches, namely the “top-down” decent work where employers need to demonstrate Corporate Social responsibility (CSR); and the “bottom-up” decent work where all stakeholders and social dialogue are needed. Analyzes power of labour movements in Indonesia through a case study of the Indonesian People’s Movement Confederation (KPRI). Summarizes the result and key paradoxes of decent work in Indonesia.