Informal Economy

Zimbabwe, informal economy, worker rights, Solidarity Center

The Solidarity Center assists workers in the informal economy, such as market vendors in Zimbabwe, come together to assert their rights and raise living standards. Credit: ZCIEA

Some 2 billion people work in the informal sector as domestic workers, taxi drivers, and street vendors, many of them women workers. Informal economy work now comprises the majority of jobs in many countries and is increasing worldwide. Although informal economy workers can create up to half of a country’s gross national product, most have no access to health care, sick leave or support when they lose their jobs, and they have little power to advocate for living wages and safe and secure work.

The Solidarity Center is part of a broad-based movement in dozens of countries to help workers in the informal economy come together to assert their rights and raise living standards. For instance, three affiliates of the Central Organization of Trade Unions-Kenya (COTU-K), a Solidarity Center partner, signed agreements with informal worker associations to unionize the workers, enabling them to access to the country’s legal protections for formal-sector employees.

Find out more about informal workers gaining power by joining together in unions and worker associations in this Solidarity Center-supported publication, Informal Workers and Collective Action: A Global Perspective.

Podcast: Domestic Workers: Leading, Growing, THRIVING

Domestic workers are among the most invisible workers in the world—yet in Latin America, they are joining together to champion their rights at their workplace and in their communities, says Adriana Paz Ramirez on this week’s episode of The Solidarity Center Podcast....

Podcast: LGBTQ+ Domestic Workers Win Rights with Their Union

As a trans domestic worker from Nicaragua working in Guatemala, Francia Blanco says her experiences with verbal and physical abuse, discrimination, and forced labor conditions led her to take action to build a world where trans domestic workers had rights, respect and...

Podcast: Making the Gig Economy Work for Workers

Like gig economy workers around the world, delivery drivers in Ukraine “have zero labor rights,” says worker rights attorney George Sandul. And, during the COVID-19 pandemic, “the drivers were on the front line of this struggle without any personal protective...
Health and Safety: South African Domestic Workers No Longer Invisible

Health and Safety: South African Domestic Workers No Longer Invisible

In an historic judgment, the South African Constitutional Court in mid-November recognized that injury and illness arising from work as a domestic worker in a private home is no different to that occurring in other workplaces and equally deserving of compensation....

Colombia Gig Economy Workers Wage Country-Wide Protest for Rights

Colombia Gig Economy Workers Wage Country-Wide Protest for Rights

Delivery employees in Colombia who work for the online platform Rappi joined protests across Latin America today calling for decent wages, job safety and health protections for gig economy workers. Largely migrant workers from Venezuela, they provide essential...

Domestic Workers Left out in the Cold

Domestic Workers Left out in the Cold

Domestic workers—at great risk during the pandemic crisis—are mobilizing to secure rapid relief and protection says the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF). This International Domestic Workers Day, more than 60 million of the world’s estimated 67 million...

Pin It on Pinterest