The continued dominance of legacy unions-state-backed unions inherited from the previous nondemocratic regime-has received little scholarly scrutiny. Through an analysis of Indonesia, this article presents a focused theoretical framework for analyzing the staying power of legacy unions and the strategies they pursue to maintain their dominance. The author argues that the capacity of legacy unions to survive is a product of inherited advantages (membership, institutional, and legal) and the transition context (economic conditions, union competition, and partisan links). Legacy unions adopt three strategies for survival-carrots, sticks, and reform-and pursue a strategy of reform only when they retain meager inherited advantages and face an unfavorable transition context. The article also offers suggestions for additional research to further develop the theoretical framework.
- Comparative labor politics
- Labor unions