This paper is one of a series of national studies on collective bargaining, social dialogue and non-standard work, conducted as a pilot under the Global Product on ‘Supporting collective bargaining and sound industrial and employment relations’ in collaboration with the ILO Decent Work Team for South Asia. The national studies aim at identifying current and emerging non-standard forms of work arrangements within which workers are in need of protection; examining good practices in which those in non-standard forms of work are organized; and analysing the role that collective bargaining and other forms of social dialogue play in improving the terms and conditions as well as the status of non-standard workers, and identifying good practices in this regard. The paper provides an overview of the situations facing informal, contract and outsourced workers, and how labour law regulates their terms and conditions of work. It analyses both legal and practical constraints in organizing such workers and the challenges to promoting effective social dialogue and collective bargaining. It also examines how the financial crisis has affected these workers negatively. Interestingly, the number of collective agreements increased in Indonesia during the early years of the crisis, but the trade unions’ priority was to secure the jobs of permanent workers. Some innovative practices to improve the situation and status of informal, contract and outsourced workers are identified in the paper. Some trade union confederations have been active in organizing informal workers, including those outside employment relationships, casual workers, domestic workers and migrant workers, based on the sectors they belong to. These confederations adopted a strategy that offer such workers direct membership, settle disputes on their behalf, raise their bargaining position, and provide training opportunities and more protection in terms of both income and job security. In Batam’s export processing zones (EPZs), trade unions in the metal, machine and electronics sectors have also been successful in organizing contract and outsourced workers, which resulted in a number of such workers being shifted to permanent status. The key to success in these cases was building solidarity between permanent workers and contract and outsourced workers. The paper concludes with a number of policy recommendations addressing issues regarding informal, contract and outsourced workers. It identifies a need for various kinds of action, such as improved compliance with labour law and regulations, strengthened labour inspection services, increased capacity of both workers’ and employers’ organizations, and strengthened solidarity among trade unions. DIALOGUE working papers are intended to encourage an exchange of ideas and are not final documents. The views expressed are the responsibility of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ILO. We are grateful to Ratih Pratiwi Anwar and Agustinus Supriyanto for undertaking the study, and commend it to all interested readers. To see the original document, click here.