New manifesto campaign to help improve working conditions of Street Vendors

13 July 2012

TUICO leaders and charcoal traders at Tabata MarketThe StreetNet affiliate, the Tanzanian Union of Industrial and Commercial Workers (TUICO) has started to implement the New Manifesto campaign. The organisation has drafted a new policy on informal economy workers and set up a 10-person task force on the informal economy. TUICO has identified 12 markets which will be surveyed for the New Manifesto and will then compile the results and validate them in a workshop. The New Manifesto of Tanzania will then be published and distributed to TUICO Branches, local authorities and MPs. The campaign will culminate in a march in the centre of Dar-es-Salaam, when the New Manifesto will be handed over to senior members of government. The task force will monitor and follow up on the implementation of the demands in the New Manifesto.

"TUICO will assist its members in Tabata market to find a solution too many of the problems they are facing. The traders pay a daily tax to the ward but they get no services in return. Indeed, only recently the charcoal sellers have been issued notice that they must vacate their site on July 23rd but they have not been offered an alternative site. Is that fair?" asked Majura Jones, Assistant General Secretary of TUICO.

Tabata market tradersHe stated that there are too many situations when traders are subjected to arbitrary treatment and their contribution to the national economy is neither recognised nor valued. "For instance, at ILala market, the coconut and vegetable sellers can only trade between 6am -10 am. Once the police blow the whistle, they are meant to pack up and leave. We think the New Manifesto campaign can highlight these situations and set a new agenda for improving the working environment of street and market vendors. It would also help street vendors to defend themselves against situations of police harassment and other forms of abuse," he concluded.

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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