Global Labour Programme: WIEGO Research - Collective Bargaining in the Informal Economy
Collective Bargaining is usually understood as taking place between an employer(s) and employees. However, workers in the informal economy, including own account workers, are engaged in many different forms of collective negotiation with counterparts that are not employers. This paper builds on recent work performed by WIEGO (Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing) for the Solidarity Center on collective bargaining in different sectors of the informal economy and by StreetNet International on collective bargaining in the street vending sector. Specifically, it explores the range of collective bargaining arrangements and experiences of street vendors in different countries, many of whom are affiliates of StreetNet International.
The action‐research is a work in progress, and the report therefore documents and analyses findings to date. The author interviewed a number of StreetNet affiliates by telephone and Skype, and slotted in some one‐off interviews during field visits to countries where other StreetNet affiliates were based. More detailed case studies were undertaken in South Africa where the author is based and was therefore able to work directly with the street vendorsí organizations in Durban and Johannesburg.
The path full of struggles for the Trade Union of Self-Employed Workers in Georgia
Georgia (country in the Caucasus situated at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe)
In April of 2013, the Gori (city in eastern Georgia) region's attorney at law, Kakha Kalmakhelidze informed the Trade Union of Self Employed and Commercial Sector Workers of Georgia - affiliated to the Georgian Trade Unions Confederation (GTUC) - that bazaar employees (the bazaar has around 1500 employees overall) were requesting the help of the union. The next day the union prepared an organising event and traveled to the bazaar. The union representatives actively carried out a campaign by holding 4 meetings, two of which were at the workplace of the activists and two at the GTUC office in Gori city.
In May of 2013, a meeting was organised which was attended by 14 individuals and resulted in creation of the Gori Central Bazaar primary union organisation.
Indian parliament passes Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill
New Delhi - More than ten million urban street vendors found sufficient reason to cheer with the upper house of Indian parliament passing the much-awaited Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill.†The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha last year. After the assent of the president, it would be the first forward looking progressive central legislation any country has ever legislated in favour of street vendors.
The Bill has several provisions to protect livelihood, social security and human rights of those more than ten million urban street vendors who have been facing several barriers and onslaughts of the municipal bodies and the police across cities and towns of India.
South African Business licensing bill Progress Update
The South African Traders Alliance and StreetNet International are part of a Task Team of the Department of Trade and Industries to determine the feasibility of this bill and to recommend a way forward.
The bill of 18 March 2013 has been withdrawn and work is in progress to develop a new or revised bill. According to Department of Trade and Industries (DTI) Minister, Dr Rob Davies, the initial bill was intended as an instrument to address "unfair competition from illegally operating businesses" which sometimes provides a cover for activities such as money laundering, sale of counterfeit goods, etc.
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