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Jakarta Post

Employees expendable as start-ups scramble for market dominance

  • Rizki Fachriansyah, Made Anthony Iswara and Esther Samboh

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Thu, September 12, 2019   /  07:53 pm
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Start-up employees work at the Innovation Room, an incubator space for start-ups provided by the Manpower Ministry.(JP/Rainier Nathaniel )

In the bustling office of a start-up housed in a busy building in Jakarta’s business district sits Nina (not her real name) in between meetings and conference calls. Her mind wanders aimlessly to her office’s team of 50 people that has witnessed two colleagues being laid off in half a year, while a few others have not had their contracts extended. That’s not an ideal employment environment for 36-year-old Nina, who has asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the issue, as she financially supports her family in East Java. Financial stability is of utmost importance to her, but looking at her industry—the flourishing apps business and digital economy—she has come to accept that she’ll not stick around for a long time at her office. “It’s an unspoken public secret. Layoffs and nonrenewal of employment contracts are common...