Workers, Unions and Politics. Indonesia in the 1920s and 1930s, John Ingleson revises received understandings of the decade and a half between the failed communist uprisings of 1926/1927 and the Japanese occupation in 1942. They were important years for the labour movement. It had to recover from the crackdown by the colonial state and then cope with the impact of the 1930s depression. Labour unions were voices for greater social justice, for stronger legal protection and for improved opportunities for workers. They created a discourse of social rights and wage justice. They were major contributors to the growth of a stronger civil society.
The experiences and remembered histories of these years helped shape the agendas of post-independence labour unions.
John Ingleson, Ph.D. (1974), Monash University, is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of New South Wales. His publications on Indonesia include
In Search of Justice. Workers and Unions in Colonial Java, 1908-1926 (OUP, 1986).
All interested in Indonesian history and politics and those interested in the history of labour movements and nationalist movements in non-European countries.It will be of interest to specialists, postgraduate students and academic libraries.