Artists and creative industry workers mark May Day in Jakarta

Tempo – May 1, 2019
Media industry workers rally in Central Jakarta on May Day – May 1, 2019 (Tempo)
Media industry workers rally in Central Jakarta on May Day – May 1, 2019 (Tempo)

Chitra Paramaesti, Jakarta – The Media and Creative Industry Trade Union (Sindikasi) articulated the rights of workers in the creative industries during a commemoration of International Labour Day or May Day on May 1 by holding a creative and environmentally friendly action.

Sindikasi Chairperson Ellena Ekarahendy said that the action wanted to promote a just working ecosystem. “Decent work also means [work that’s] inclusive, non-discriminatory and free from violence, and respects justice and equality”, said Ekarahendy at the National Monument (Monas) in Central Jakarta on Wednesday May 1.

Sindikasi is also pushing for revisions to the Film and Music Law because, according to Ekarahendy, aside from protecting the works themselves, the creators involved in them should also be protected.

“This year we plan to hold audiences with 10 government institutions so that employees can be involved in the drafting of the laws which impact upon them”, he said

Ekarahendy continued saying that the Film and Music Law does not included stipulations covering artistic workers. Yet the state should guarantee protection for artistic works, as well as employees, and the ecosystem which produces the works.

Instead of protecting employees and artistic workers, said Ekarahendy, the law tends to accommodate the interests of capitalists and morality. “Instead the law restricts artists in their work”, he said.

In giving speeches this year, Sindikasi together with Greenpeace used solar panels to supply electricity which was used to power the sound system. The protest was also accompanied by music from DJ Degup Jagad.

At the end of the event, blues musician Adrian Adioetomo took to the stage and spoke through the strains of his guitar. He said that he took part in the May Day action this year because of the many injustices suffered by workers. “The issue of workers’ mental health must also be considered”, he said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Hari Buruh, Pekerja Seni Berorasi dengan Kreatif Ramah Lingkungan”.]