Relying on indigenous labour in settler New Caledonia: Stéphane Le Queux, Stéphanie Graff, ‘Industrial relations in New Caledonia: context and focus on the Kanak Indigenous people’s labour struggle in the background of the politics of reconciliation and decolonisation’, Labour & Industry: a journal of the social and economic relations of work, 2015
Abstract: This article examines industrial relations in New Caledonia with a focus on Indigenous labour. Caledonian industrial relations are absent from English speaking industrial relations literature. Therefore, the first objective of this article is to provide a general introduction to the broad industrial relations context including an overview of the political economy; key features of the labour market; labour market regulation and labour issues. The second objective is to provide historical and contemporary insights on the Kanak labour struggle and political (anti-colonial) activism. The research is informed by interviews in 2011 and 2014 and ongoing participant observation among Kanak political forces. Our argument is twofold. First, Caledonian industrial relations are politicised within the politics of reconciliation – the political platform for a so-called common destiny. Second, the politics of reconciliation have been deployed in response to the long-lasting indigenous struggle for sovereignty, with Kanak organised labour at the forefront of this struggle.
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