Benny Hari Juliawan, from “Street-Level Politics: Labour Protests in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia” (2011, Journal of Contemporary Asia):
Research into the post-authoritarian labour movement in Indonesia is still at an early stage. The existing literature is focused mostly on finding the answer to this single question: why has the labour movement failed to become a significant political force in the post-authoritarian era? The picture that has emerged from answering this question is universally bleak, portraying helpless trade unions in the face of economic constraints and the undemocratic remnants of the old forces. Being overtly cautious of the new democracy, this line of analysis has not done justice to the Indonesian labour movement. It overestimates the ghost of the old dictatorship and underplays the power of budding labour groups.