Disappointing setback for marginalised workers in informal economy

3 June 2015

In all consultations with workers in the informal economy across different continents about the upcoming ILO Recommendation on transitions from the informal to the formal economy, there was complete consensus on one issue - formalisation MUST involve the right to direct participation in collective negotiations (including tripartite negotiations) by ALL workers, including those in the informal economy. This necessarily involves changing prevailing national practice in the majority of countries, where workers in the informal economy do not enjoy this right.

However, the conference committee on transitions from the informal to the formal economy today agreed to limit the right of workers to participate in collective negotiations "according to national practice". In effect, this means that there will be no change to the status of marginalisation and social exclusion of workers in the informal economy, while others will continue to speak on their behalf in the exclusive negotiations forums which exist in many countries.

This is a most disappointing setback for the workers of the world in the informal economy, who had participated in good faith in the preparations for this Recommendation in the hope that this would be a tool to assist them to now enjoy the same rights, previously denied to them, as other workers.

A luta continua!!

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INDIA. DP is irreparable, scrap it, say activists. Times of India (10 April 2015).

TANZANIA. College plans to identify trade opportunities for hawkers. Daily News (10 April 2015)  by Ludovick Kazoka.

INDIA. No street vendors, cycle rickshaws in Lajpat Nagar market: NGT. Zee News (8 April 2015) by PTI. New Delhi:

BOTSWANA. EDD is the way to go. Mmegi Online (8 April 2015).

USA. Five Courses: Hawkers' street food flair & more. Creative Loafing Tampa Bay (8 April 2015) by Meaghan Habuda.

INDIA. Hawkers may be allowed near Rishi Kapoor, Anil Ambani's Pali Hill residences. DNA India (8 April 2015) by Amrita Nayak Dutta.

ABU-DHABI. Abu Dhabi Municipality raid scares away street hawkers. Gulf News (7 April 2015).

SINGAPORE. Hawker centres to be spruced up with murals and art installations. Channel News Asia (5 April 2015) by Vimita Mohandas.

MALAYSIA. 'Development will be inclusive'. The Star Online (3 April 2015).

INDIA. 'Street vendors denied right to livelihood'. The Hindu (1 April 2015) by K.N. Umesh.

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa: Xenophobic Violence in KZN - 'This Is a Black Easter for Foreigners'.

SINGAPORE. Singapore street food: stewed, sliced and steamed - video.

USA. Street vendors press city to legalize their trade.

StreetNet International

StreetNet International is an alliance of street vendors. It was launched in Durban, South Africa, in November 2002.

Membership-based organizations (unions, co-operatives or associations) directly organizing street vendors, market vendors and/or hawkers among their members, are entitled to affiliate to StreetNet International.

The aim of StreetNet is to promote the exchange of information and ideas on critical issues facing street vendors, market vendors and hawkers (i.e. mobile vendors) and on practical organizing and advocacy strategies