Social Protection for Informal Economy Workers in Zambia: Where We Are?

by Lameck Kashiwa, AZIEA General Secretary

Zambia’s Social Protection like many countries has been biased towards formal workers while informal workers relied on their own indigenous informal schemes in the markets, Bus stations and neighborhood.

The said informal schemes helped and continue to help the informal workers during funerals, bankruptcy, loss of job etc.

Each time a demand to extend social protection to the informal economy workers is made, Government found it impossible to do so because according to them, the informal economy was very difficult to capture.

In 2012, His excellency the late president Michael Chilufya, who had a pro poor agenda, bought our agenda and called for the reformation of the Social protection system in the country with a directive of extension of social protection to the informal economy. Continue reading “Social Protection for Informal Economy Workers in Zambia: Where We Are?”

Field Trip to Central America to reaffirm solidarity

by Maira Vannuchi, StreetNet Organizer

In the second half of September 2018, StreetNet Organizers Maira Vannuchi and Oksana Abboud went visiting three countries of Central America to meet StreetNet affiliates in Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Starting in Honduras, two organizers met the international coordinator Pat Horn in San Pedro Sula to carry out a 5 days’ workshop on collective bargaining with FOTSSIEH – StreetNet affiliate and a Regional Focal Point of the Americas. Continue reading “Field Trip to Central America to reaffirm solidarity”

Negotiations Skills training follow up workshop for SLeTU from Sierra Leone

by Jane Masta, StreetNet Organizer

The follow up workshop on Negotiations Skills Training was organized in collaboration with the Solidarity Centre AFL-CIO and StreetNet International.

The training was held in Kenema City from 23rd to 24th October 2018. This was a follow up workshop from the initial training that was held in May 2018 where participants were given four months to implement the workplans that they had prepared for re-establishment of Municipal Trade Committees. Continue reading “Negotiations Skills training follow up workshop for SLeTU from Sierra Leone”

Breaking New Ground in Liberia

by Pat Horn, StreetNet International Coordinator

In May 2018 a Strategising Meeting was held with 30 leaders of StreetNet’s Affiliate FEPTIWUL (Federation of Petty Traders & Informal Workers’ Unions of Liberia) in Monrovia and Paynesville with the objective of analysing the effectiveness of a previous MoU signed between NAPETUL (as FEPTIWUL was known in 2014) & MCC (Monrovia Municipal Corporation) between 2014 and 2016, and to take forward the process for entering into new MoUs with MCC and PCC (Paynesville City Corporation). 

One of the problems identified was capacity shortages on the part of government officials which make implementation difficult.  The Strategising Meeting therefore decided to organize joint training for FEPTIWUL leaders as well as the officials from the MCC, PCC and the other identified partners, in order to tackle this issue. Continue reading “Breaking New Ground in Liberia”

Presidential Jobs Summit – from the perspective of workers in the informal economy

By Pat Horn, StreetNet International Coordinator

Lead-up to Jobs Summit

In his State of the Nation address in February 2018, the new President of South Africa, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, announced that a Jobs Summit would be convened as soon as possible to address the problems of joblessness and unemployment in South Africa.

With regard to workers in the informal economy, there was already a process under way on the transitions from the informal to the formal economy after the adoption of ILO Recommendation 204 (R204) in June 2015, under the auspices of the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) in South Africa.  This process re-started with the active involvement of the Community Constituency (CC) of NEDLAC (National Economic, Development & Labour Council) with the revival of a R204 National Task Team and addition of representatives from the CC in July 2017.  I have been representing the CC delegation in these processes via the FSCC (Financial Sector Campaign Coalition). Continue reading “Presidential Jobs Summit – from the perspective of workers in the informal economy”

Negotiations Skills Course for workers of informal economy in Honduras

By Maira Vannuchi and Oksana Abboud, StreetNet Organizers

On 17- 21 September a five-day Negotiations skills training course took place in San Pedro Sula city (Honduras) for the StreetNet Affiliate FOTSSIEH (Federación de Organizacionesdel Sector Social y Informal de la Economia de Honduras).

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The Training was organized in partnership with the Solidarity Centre AFL-CIO in the framework of StreetNet -Solidarity Center Partnership Project.

30 FOTSSIEH local leaders and activists attended the training which aimed to strengthen the negotiating capacity of workers in the informal economy with the authorities; act to ensure effective institutional mechanisms and represent interests and defend projects and rights. Continue reading “Negotiations Skills Course for workers of informal economy in Honduras”

Bangladesh Affiliate from field visit lenses

By Amar Kharate, StreetNet Trainee Organizer

Organisations that works for informal economy workers’ rights are very needed in today’s world.

Labour at Informal Economy (LaIE) in Bangladesh, is a membership-based umbrella organisation, which includes four types of informal economy workers and street vendor is one of it.  LaIE consists of 7 executive committee members 5 of whom are women. LaIE unites 3,550 street vendor members: 800 are female and 2,750 males. 50% of the members belong to young age group ( from 18 to 35 years old). Continue reading “Bangladesh Affiliate from field visit lenses”

The Federation of Petty Traders and Informal Workers Union of Liberia – FEPTIWUL celebrates its new achievement

By Sibailly Douhour, StreetNet Organizer

On September 27th, 2018 FEPTIWUL, StreetNet’s affiliate in Liberia, represented by Comfort Dorion, Chairlady, signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Monrovia City Corporation, MCC.

This agreement is the second after the first one which was signed in 2014.

This time FEPTIWUL leaders and members were prepared as they went through several trainings about Collective negotiations Skills organised by StreetNet International.

The new MoU of FEPTIWULL enables different parties together to mainly deal with issues concerning the spaces offered to street vendors, their registration and identification, taxes payment, hygiene and their security. Continue reading “The Federation of Petty Traders and Informal Workers Union of Liberia – FEPTIWUL celebrates its new achievement”

FAINATRASIT holds its Ordinary Congress

by Sibailly Douhouré, StreetNet Organizer

The General Assembly of FAINATRASIT (StreetNet affiliate from Togo) took place on August 27th, 2018 in Lomé city  under the following theme: The Informal Economy and the Transition towards the Formality: the Role of FAINATRASIT.

61 Delegates, 44 of whom – women from 19 Organisations affiliated to FAINATRASIT (out of 23 participated in the General Assembly of FAINATRASIT which activities were carried out in the CSTT (Togo workers Confederation union) Conference Hall.

The delegates decided to set up a commission to amend the Constitution of the organization.

The delegates elected the members of the National Executive Board of 9 people, among them 4 women. Continue reading “FAINATRASIT holds its Ordinary Congress”

A Journey Towards Empowering Women Street Vendors

by Amar Kharate, StreetNet Organiser

According to ILO (2012), an estimated 83 per cent of Cambodian workers worked in the informal sector in 2008. As in many other countries, data on informal workers in Cambodia is not up-to-date, though it is clear the street vendor sector is increasing daily.
StreetNet, in collaboration with the Solidarity Center, Cambodia, strives to create change with street vendors  through technical support. For example, in July 2018, StreetNet and Solidarity Center came together to host a women street vendor leadership workshop for StreetNet affiliate IDEA members. IDEA has become the main organisation in Cambodia working for betterment of street vendors and other informal economy workers.
These three stories will shed light on how IDEA has helped empower women members and offer different strategies organizations can use to do the same. Continue reading “A Journey Towards Empowering Women Street Vendors”