StreetNet Newsletter 27
Belarusian Trade Union of Entrepreneurs "Vmeste" ("Together") held a protest action in the city of Vitebsk
In early June 2014, a significant part of all entrepreneurs of Vitebsk city markets stopped working for one day. They had a protest action day due to facing big problems regarding the implementation of the technical regulations of the Customs Union: from July 1, 2014 entrepreneurs of Belarus are under threat of confiscation of the rests of their goods for which there are no documents confirming their quality. In this case, entrepreneurs under the leadership of the trade union "Vmeste", prepared an appeal letter to the country President Alexander Lukashenko.
According to the requirements of the Customs Union technical regulations (which includes such countries, like: Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan), all goods which entrepreneurs sell out at the markets in Belarus, should have a special quality certificates. Even if the things are bought in wholesale warehouses in neighboring Russia, namely Belarusian entrepreneurs are obliged to make the expertise of theirs goods to confirm that they do not harm the buyers. There is a special laboratory where all the quality of goods has to be checked and entrepreneurs have to pay money for this.
StreetNet presentation to Plenary
StreetNet is an international federation of 52 organisations of street vendors, informal market vendors and hawkers in 46 countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Eastern Europe, representing 588 709 paid-up members. Because of lack of appropriate policies and regulations at local, national and cross-border level, this sector of workers in the informal economy face problems of often being perceived as illegal - while they try to earn their living by means of completely lawful economic activities.
StreetNet participated in the Committee on Migrant Workers in the Global Economy in the 92nd session of the Conference in 2004. In relation to the report of the Director General on migration, StreetNet represents a particular group of migrant workers who experience a high level of marginalization and criminalization on daily basis - and that is informal cross-border traders, the majority of whom are women. They face problems at the borders, and once they have crossed the borders, they join other street vendors and informal traders who face daily problems of persecution and discrimination in public spaces in cities and towns.
Azerbaijan Regional Workshop on Social Solidarity Economy
On April 23 – 24, 2014, in the framework of the FLOW Project (Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women), a fund that has been created by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands to improve the position of women in developing countries, Federation of Trade Unions of Azerbaijan Xhidmat-ISH, StreetNet Affiliate, conducted the Regional Workshop on Social Solidarity Economy. This was held in Baku, Azerbaijan
In times of a current global crisis: the confrontation with today's challenges, such as high unemployment rates, increasing inequality, unacceptable conditions of people living in poverty and continuing global warming - oblige us to reconsider the economic and social development practices. Workers around the world are taking steps to form their own economic reality by doing business and creating jobs. And often it takes place in close cooperation with trade union organisations.
Taking into account the fact that such a notion as social solidarity economy is not the common issue for the current region, the workshop organisers decided to provide general information on this subject, focusing on the following: concept of social solidarity economy; cooperatives and trade unions - a partnership to achieve common goals.
In order to strengthen connections, exchange and coordination mechanisms necessary to implement solutions to the problems of the informal trade sector, the event organizers decided to invite representatives of StreetNet member organisations from Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.