Being freelancers is not our choice / letter to Minister Wiebes
This is a letter we wrote in response to a statement from Minister Wieber during first COVID wave . The government at the beginning of the pandemic did not want to support freelancers. One of their argument was that being a freelancer is a choice and that we should be able to take care of ourselves. Hereby our reaction.
Dear minister Wiebes,
We are the freelancers, the "creatives" of the city, the artists, the 0 hour contracts. We play music for you, we entertain your kids, organise activities for your grandmother. We make you dance, laugh, cry. We sing for you, act for you, draw for you. We build up and down entire theatre productions, museum exhibitions, festivals, in the most efficient ways. We fix, we repair, we clean up. We take care of the design of your website, we do your taxes and administration. We serve you in restaurants, help your old uncle cook and clean himself, we translate your texts, babysit your babies, write your speeches, host your events.
We adapt, we rarely complain and we work a lot. Most of us combine jobs, multi task, juggle with different lives. The jobs are precarious. There is no security. No permanent contracts. No pensions. No loans. No paid holidays and a lot of unpaid work. The money we receive is just (if not barely) enough to live, sustain our families and secure the next months.
So no, #MinisterWiebes, being freelancers for most of us is not a choice.
It is just the only available option for us. No other alternatives. No other systems to be part of. No one to take care of us.
Yet, we are there for you when you need us. We are flexible, available, ready for actions. We engage with your system, with your society, we play the freelance game because this is the only way to do what we really want to do. Because we care. Because we are passionate about it.
But passion doesn't pay our bills.
We work our ass off to make this city inviting, exciting, inclusive and diverse. We are part of your economy, you earn money thanks to us, so why, now that we are all going through challenging times, do you leave us out?
We deserve to be acknowledged and helped, as to be honest, if we were not here, Minister Wiebes, the city would fall apart.
so therefore we ask you to include us in the financial compensation plan due to the impact of COVID19 on our profession.