Employment relations in New Caledonia: overview and focus on Indigenous labour activism

Le Queux, Stéphane, and Graff, Stéphanie (2015) Employment relations in New Caledonia: overview and focus on Indigenous labour activism. In: Presentations from the 29th Annual Conference for the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand. From: AIRAANZ 2015: 29th Annual Conference for the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand, 3-5 February 2015, Auckland, New Zealand.

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Abstract

This presentation has two objectives. The first is to acknowledge that New Caledonia is absent from the English speaking literature in the field of employment relations. To rectify this, we will present an account of the major features of the industrial relations system and address the major issues of the day. Second, we will turn to the politics of the indigenous Kanak people's labour activism. The presentation is informed by two periods of field research, in July 2011 and 2014, including interviews with trade union leaders and a content analysis of data provided by government agencies, as well as on-going participant observation of the Kanak people's struggle for sovereignty (Graff 2012). New Caledonia has a rich labour history and a strong labour movement which can to a large extent be explained by the prevalence of its mining industry. Besides, there is a militant indigenous movement which for historical reasons intersects with and is channelled through organised labour. In the overall background of the colonial politics of reconciliation – the political platform for a 'Common Destiny' – which engulfs employment relations and social dialogue, we will reveal that key issues arising, such as inequalities and employment, often have a political content and, as a consequence, that contention becomes politicised across the racial and social divides of New Caledonia.

Item ID: 38464
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Keywords: New Caledonia, Indigenous labour, Kanak people, decolonization
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Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2015 00:49
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150306 Industrial Relations @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1606 Political Science > 160606 Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific @ 50%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9104 Management and Productivity > 910401 Industrial Relations @ 75%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9402 Government and Politics > 940203 Political Systems @ 25%
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