Workers or Freelancers? Organising against Informality in Indonesia’s Media and Creative Industry
In Asia, bright and artistic young people have pursued their passion in the media and creative industry as journalists, theater workers and musicians. Despite the space such work affords for their creativity, these are also some of the most precarious and insecure jobs, with many working from one short-term contract to the next. One union in Indonesia, SINDIKASI (the Media and Creative Industry Workers' Union for Democracy), has taken upon itself to organise these young freelancers across the industry. In this episode, we spoke with Nura Aini, the chairwoman of SINDIKASI, from Jakarta, Indonesia.Nura, a former journalist herself, shared with us her journey into labor organising, driven by a goal to address the issues faced by workers in the media and creative industry. She shed light on SINDIKASI’s unique approach in organising workers across workplaces, the union's unwavering commitment to promoting gender-based equality, and the obstacle of convincing young freelancers to recognise themselves as workers.In our co-host discussion, Kiang shared his thoughts on participating in the launch of the ASEAN Employment Outlook report, and on its findings and recommendations on regulating digital and platform work. We then briefly delved into a debate around conceptual drawbacks surrounding the formalisation of informal work resulting from digitisation and platformisation.