informal economy

Book Launch: Informal Workers and Collective Action

As the number of workers in the informal economy increase around the world, the result is that more and more workers are low paid, with few or no social benefits or job security. In the Dominican Republic, where many in the informal economy are Haitian migrants, the union movement successfully organized those who work in… [READ MORE]

Zimbabwe Vendor Ban Targets Vulnerable Workers

The government in Zimbabwe is moving to ban market vendors in Harare at a time when more than 90 percent of the workforce labors in the informal economy and 85 percent or more Zimbabweans are seeking decent work. “People who are into street vending are not into it for their liking, but are being forced… [READ MORE]

Decent Work Day: Focus on Living Wages

  • October 5, 2017
  • Christopher Dunn

When Mwahamisi Josiah Makori, a Kenyan mother of three who worked as a domestic worker in Saudi Arabia, first arrived at her new employer’s house, she was given only 20 minutes before she began work. After that, she began a three-month period which involved hard labor, brutal sleeping conditions, and no pay. For three months,… [READ MORE]

Workers’ Equality Forum: Share Your Story!

Sam Oliver, a union shop steward at the Sime Darby Rubber and Oil plantation in Liberia, where workers live in company-provided housing, says “people lived in deplorable” conditions before joining the General Agriculture and Allied Workers Union of Liberia (GAAWUL). Today, says Oliver, a warehouse clerk on the plantation, “through the intervention of this union,… [READ MORE]

Zimbabwe Informal Economy Workers: Bullied, Threatened

In Binga, a small community 400 miles west of Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, residents support themselves and their families fishing the vast Lake Kariba. With no industry in the area, they depend on the lake for their livelihoods. Yet they say they face constant challenges in making a living—the biggest of which is harassment from officials…. [READ MORE]

Report: Working without Pay—Wage Theft in Zimbabwe

An astounding 80,000 Zimbabwe workers in formal employment—out of some 350,000 workers—did not receive wages and benefits on time in 2014, according to a new Solidarity Center report, “Working Without Pay: Wage Theft in Zimbabwe,” released today in Harare. As a result of this widespread wage theft, many workers say they are forced to eat only… [READ MORE]

Migrant Workers Empowered by Forming Unions

“Organizing campaigns that are led by migrant workers themselves are making the impossible possible,” says Tefere Gebre, AFL-CIO executive vice president, succinctly summing up the discussion that opened the second day of the conference Labor Migration: Who Benefits? “When workers come together, it doesn’t matter if you are a native or a migrant. If we… [READ MORE]

Vulnerable Workers Targets of Gender-Based Violence

Participants in Monday’s final session of the Solidarity Center labor migration conference engaged in a lively discussion with panelists in a discussion of migrant workers’ vulnerability to gender-based violence. Lisa McGowan, senior specialist for gender equality, outlined the broad picture, pointing out that gender-based violence is “one of the most widespread human rights violations in… [READ MORE]

‘Marginalization of Migrant Workers: Crisis for Democracy’

Asia’s growth as a global factory comes at a price, says Sanjiv Pandita, executive director of the Asia Monitor Resource Center (AMRC) in Hong Kong. “The most important point is that migrant workers pay the price,” he said. In fact, Asia has more than 70 percent of global vulnerable workers—nearly 1 billion. Pandita, whose organization… [READ MORE]

‘Shutting Doors Won’t Help Migrant Workers’

Highlighting the rampant economic inequality across the globe that is in part driving people to migrate for work far from their homes, Michelle Leighton, chief of the Labor Migration Branch at the International Labor Organization (ILO), provided a detailed look at the ILO’s current and planned response to addressing the many challenges migrant workers face… [READ MORE]

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