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”

Informal economy in Mozambique as a determining part of the country’s development

by Maira Vannuchi, StreetNet Organizer

On July 27 and 28, the StreetNet International organizer for the Americas and the Portuguese-speaking African countries, Maíra Vannuchi, made a field visit to the StreetNet affiliate organization in Mozambique, the Informal Economy Association of Mozambique – Aeimo.

Vice-President Albertina Simango and the National Executive Secretary Armindo Chembane received the organizer at its headquarters in the building of the Mozambican Workers’ Organization (OTM) and told of the organization’s history, the advances and challenges faced by the sector in the country.

Aiemo, former Assotsi, present in all 10 provinces of the country was founded in 1999 in a period of Mozambican history in which government enterprises, nationalized since independence (1975), began to be privatized and a process of requalification of the hand of unemployed workforce a large portion of the population that was replaced by younger workers. Continue reading “Informal economy in Mozambique as a determining part of the country’s development”

We say goodbye to comrade Eugenio Rodriguez of Honduras

With great sadness, StreetNet International informs its members about the death of comrade Eugenio Rodriguez, leader of the Honduran organization FOTSSIEH and coordinator of the focal point of the Americas region.

On our part, we wish our deepest condolences to the FOTSSIEH, to his struggle partners and to Eugenio’s family.
Eugenio dedicated himself to SNI’s organization in Central America supporting the work of building the articulations and since 2015 being responsible, alongside Vilma Arevalo, for the focal point of the Americas, a key role for the SNI in the region.

We know that FOTSSIEH will continue the work begun by his colleague Eugenio years ago, making sure his legacy will be carried forward. SNI thanks the great contribution of Eugenio to our organization certain that his work remains alive in our construction.


Strategic Planning and Moving Further

by Pat Horn, StreetNet International Coordinator

After the Fifth StreetNet International Congress in India in 2016, the newly-elected members of the StreetNet international Council underwent leadership training in January 2017, followed by the first meeting of the International Council. The Council started work on a new strategic plan for StreetNet based on the following four strategic focus areas:

  1. Using collective negotiations and other related strategies of mobilisation and pressure to influence laws and urban policies in favour of street vendors and other informal workers. The New Urban Agenda is to be used as a tool in this process.
  2. Implementing R204 at country level including gaining access to tripartite forums, extension of social protection, and advancing social solidarity economy structures.
  3. Building regional solidarity between StreetNet affiliates across borders, and building regional alliances in order to advance the interests of cross-border informal traders (amongst other objectives).
  4. Continue growing and developing StreetNet International.

A strategic plan for 2020–2024 based on the following strategic focus areas will be developed with the participation of StreetNet’s elected leadership. Regional Focal Points will coordinate the regional level. Continue reading “Strategic Planning and Moving Further”

Newly approved StreetNet Regional Focal Points for Asia and Europe

StreetNet welcomes the Nepal Union of Street Traders (NEST-Nepal) and Moldova-Business-Sind (Moldova) as newly established StreetNet Regional Focal Points (RFP) for Asia and Europe respectively.

Recently, at the 2018 International Council meeting, StreetNet leadership approved the recommendation of its affiliates from Asia and Eastern Europe to move the StreetNet RFPs for Asia to Nepal and the RFP for Europe to Moldova.
NEST appointed Brother Narayan Neupane, who has served as a member of StreetNet International Council (2013-2016) as the RFP Contact Person. He will run the RFP work from NEST with technical support from the General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT), with which NEST is affiliated. Continue reading “Newly approved StreetNet Regional Focal Points for Asia and Europe”