COR Ep.5: Workers or Freelancers? Organising against Informality in Indonesia’s Media and Creative Industry

In Asia, many 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 young workers working from one short-term contract to another. One such union in Indonesia, SINDIKASI (the Media and Creative Industry Workers’ Union for Democracy), has taken upon itself to organise these young workers. 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 acrossworkplaces, the union’s unwavering commitment to promoting gender-based equality, and the significant obstacle of convincing young freelancers to recognize themselves as workers.

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In the cohost discussion, Kiang shared his thoughts on participating in the launch of the ASEAN Employment Outlook report, and on its findings on the conditions and recommendations on regulating digital and platform work. Kevin and Kiang delved into a debate around conceptual drawbacks surrounding the formalisation of informal work resulting from digitisation and platformisation.