Mass strikes of public transportation drivers started on Monday, January 6, in a number of Indonesian cities. Street protests continue against the IMF sponsored cuts in subsidies which have provoked a price hike. Although still relatively small these protests could become more massive in the coming days. Particularly important is the call for a nation-wide strike for Thursday January 9 (today) by a front of 23 different trade unions which could halt industry in many parts of the country.
Since the fall of Soeharto a lot has changed for the Indonesian
labour movement. During the New Order era one "union" monopolised the
organisation of workers, the yellow union FSPSI linked to the ruling
clique's Golkar party. Instead of raising the consciousness of
workers, the FSPSI was designed to depoliticise them.