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Question of the Week 7


Which actors can play a key role in improving the awareness of informal workers’ legal rights?

Reactions (6)


Andrea Floridi and Natascha Wagner - Erasmus University Rotterdam -- Institute of Social Studies
2016-08-23 10:25

 
Promoting the enforcement of informal workers’ rights needs joint efforts by several actors ranging from the local government to the private sector, from unions to the informal workers themselves including international organizations and NGOs. However, these actors clearly have different priorities and agendas. Therefore implementing informal workers' legal rights requires that the different actors be brought together at the negotiating table. In our opinion, the role of formal workers' union and informal workers’ associations might be ... read more »

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Robert-Jan Scheer
2016-08-23 13:26

Are there any political economy analyses on the subject of labor unions and informality? the introduction suggests a potential conflict of interests? What are these conflicts, how do they work out? And how realistic is it to expect them to plat a role for the ‘others’?

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Ratna M. Sudarshan
2016-08-23 16:48

Given the dominance of informal employment in countries such as India, formal unions might accept the need to reach out to informal workers. With women workers in the informal economy there are several additional difficulties. Many women work from home, as self-employed or sub-contracted workers, are not fully captured in national labour surveys, and have a weak identity as `workers`. Organising efforts often have to start with responding to women's practical and felt needs, include the familial and the personal, and it is a long and slow journ... read more »

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Sofia Trevino - Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing
2016-08-24 23:42

It is our (WIEGO’s) belief, supported by extensive research, that the key actors in demanding appropriate legal and policy reforms and the implementation thereof are organizations of informal workers. But to do so effectively, they need support to build their internal capacity for policy analysis, advocacy, and negotiating. They also need external allies – like-minded academics, lawyers, planners, trade unions, and NGOs – to provide relevant data, policy analysis, good practice examples, and technical advice. Also, they need government... read more »

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Corrie Roeper - Mondiaal FNV
2016-08-30 14:39

'Informal workers' is a rather general term. It could be about workers who were formally employed, but were dismissed and hired in again as self employed. This has happened on a wide scale in the cleaning sector in Africa. In such a case the unions to which they did belong have a logical role to defend the legal rights of the workers and the employers to recognize these rights. Unfortunately, most employers want informalisation because they want to get rid of (part of) these rights.  It are not only private enterprises applying this informalisa... read more »

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Christal O. Spel - University of Helsinki
2016-11-9 16:34

The good intentions behind the question is quite obvious and commendable, however, it tacitly implies the questionable logic that some identifiable agent is not aware of the ‘legal rights of informal workers and making the identified agent aware will lead to or improve the experience of the informal worker (via having that right). Awareness of rights is much less the problem than substantive implementation of such rights. Hence, if we can turn the focus from the ‘problemization’ of ‘awareness’ to the substantive implementation and access, we ca... read more »

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