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LIVELIHOODS & URBAN FORM: MUMBAI IN A COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE SESSION 6: MARCH 4. 2015 INTERROGATING BEST PRACTICES # 2 SELF-EMPLOYED WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION.

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Presentation on theme: "LIVELIHOODS & URBAN FORM: MUMBAI IN A COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE SESSION 6: MARCH 4. 2015 INTERROGATING BEST PRACTICES # 2 SELF-EMPLOYED WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION."— Presentation transcript:

1 LIVELIHOODS & URBAN FORM: MUMBAI IN A COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE SESSION 6: MARCH INTERROGATING BEST PRACTICES # 2 SELF-EMPLOYED WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION AHMEDABAD, INDIA MARTY CHEN LECTURER IN PUBLIC POLICY, HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL AFFILIATED PROFESSOR, HARVARD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF DESIGN INTERNATIONAL COORDINATOR, WIEGO NETWORK

2 TAKEAWAYS FROM LAST SESSION  Warwick Junction Case Project Fundamentals: area-based & inter-departmental committed to participation & consultation Project Team Ways of Working ground-level intelligence urban design with (not just for) informal workers simple, appropriate, incremental interventions ► significant impacts on informal workers & significant changes over time  Meagher’s political-economy framework = useful framework for analyses of your respective occupational groups in Mumbai differentiation & characteristics of informal employment: which strata? role of social networks: e.g. caste and religion in Mumbai links with formal sector: backward & forward; exploitative? role of state: based on ignorance, lack of policy cohesion or complicity?

3 UPDATE FROM WARWICK JUNCTION  March 3 – lead lawyer from the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) briefed street vendor leaders of Warwick Junction to highlight the significance of the judgment: notably, that “seemingly unfettered abuse could be checked”  March 6 – last day on which the City can file a notice to appeal the judgment  In the event of an appeal: “tenacious” lawyer of LRC will continue with the case Legal Resources Center and Asiye eTafuleni would both be pleased – as the issue would gain prominence as it moves up to the higher courts Richard Dobson will keep us posted!!!

4 TODAY’S CLASS Best Practice Example # 2: Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in Ahmedabad, India SEWA SEWA Urban Members SEWA Urban Strategies SEWA Urban Examples: home-based workers & street vendors Class Discussion: what strikes you as the most innovative aspects of these examples? what are the weaknesses? what are your main takeaways? what questions do you have?

5 SEWA: WHAT, WHO, WHY & HOW

6 SELF-EMPLOYED WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION (SEWA)  SEWA is first-and-foremost a trade union  largest trade union of informal workers in the world  nearly 2 million members: who elect representatives by trade into leadership roles in the union  all members are women workers in the informal economy: not just self-employed but also informal employees +sub- contracted workers + casual day laborers  first trade union of informal workers & also first to gain national union status to be recognized by ILO tripartite system  SEWA is also a sisterhood of organizations  SEWA is also a pioneering leader in four international movements: labor + women + informal workers + micro-finance

7 SEWA’S MEMBERSHIP SEWA’s members are engaged in 100 or more different sub-trades or occupations. SEWA groups its varied membership into four main categories, as follows:  hawkers and vendors, who sell a range of products including vegetables, fruit, and used clothing from baskets, push carts, or small shops  home-based producers, who stitch garments, make patch-work quilts, roll hand-made cigarettes (bidis) or incense sticks, prepare snack foods, recycle scrap metal, process agricultural products, produce pottery, or make craft items  laborers and service providers, who sell their labor (as cart-pullers, construction workers, head-loaders), or who sell services such as domestic services, laundry services, or waste picking/cleaning  rural producers: small farmers, milk producers, animal rearers, nursery growers, salt farmers, gum collectors

8 SEWA’s 2 GOALS & 11 POINTS The Eleven Points – or standards – by which SEWA measures its progress can be grouped under the Twin Goals of SEWA as follows:  Full Employment requires that each woman has: Employment which generates sufficient Income for living with security and dignity. This, in turn, requires… Ownership of productive assets; sufficient Nutrition, and the fulfillment of other basic needs such as Health care Housing, and Child care  Self-Reliance of each woman is achieved through: Organizing in groups, achieving Leadership as a SEWA member, and Self-Reliance as a group Education

9 SEWA JOINT STRATEGY OF STRUGGLE & DEVELOPMENT  Struggle Strategies organizing collective bargaining campaigning around issues advocacy  Development Services financial: savings, loans and insurance social: health care, child care, and education infrastructure: housing, water, sanitation, electricity and transport capacity-building: literacy, technical skills, leadership skills, and other training enterprise development: skills training, product development and marketing

10 SEWA SISTERHOOD OF INSTITUTIONS  SEWA Union - which is responsible for recruiting and organizing SEWA’s membership  SEWA Bank - a cooperative bank which provides financial services  Gujarat Mahila Cooperative Federation – which is responsible for organizing and supporting several types of cooperatives of SEWA members: producer cooperatives & service delivery cooperatives  Gujarat Mahila Housing SEWA Trust – which provides housing services, including finance, legal, and construction services  SEWA Social Security – which provides health care & child care services + runs the insurance cooperative  Rural and Urban Wings of SEWA – which oversee the whole range of SEWA activities in, respectively, rural Gujarat and Ahmedabad City  SEWA Academy – which is responsible for research, training, and communication  SEWA Bharat – a national federation of SEWA affiliates in different states of India.

11 SEWA’S URBAN MEMBERS: SECTOR-SPECIFIC MIX OF STRATEGIES

12 SEWA STRATEGIES WITH CONSTRUCTION WORKERS  higher wages  skills training: masonry, carpentry, and other construction skills  workplace safety regulations  accident insurance scheme and workers’ compensation  identity (ID) cards  registers or other proof of days of work  local implementation of national Construction Workers’ Protection and Welfare Act

13 SEWA STRATEGIES WITH WASTE PICKERS  legal recognition and identity as waste collectors (who contribute to the upkeep and cleanliness of the cities they work in)  identity (ID) cards to protect them  appropriate implements and protective gear (gloves and aprons) to help them avoid dangerous and toxic waste  organization and bargaining mechanisms to negotiate with a) those to whom they sell the waste they collect and b) municipal officials and police  organization into waste collection and cleaning cooperatives

14 SEWA STRATEGIES WITH HOME-BASED PRODUCERS  housing + basic infrastructure services  regular, secure, and enforceable work orders + minimum piece rates that are equivalent to minimum wages (for sub- contracted home-based workers)  product development + marketing services (for self-employed home-based workers)  occupational health and safety measures  capital to improve their home=workspace and upgrade their equipment  access to social funds set up with tax on specific industries

15 SEWA STRATEGIES WITH STREET VENDORS  secure vending sites, including precedent-setting Supreme Court judgment  access to capital on fair terms: a loan product tailored to their daily need for working capital  wholesale market stall: where SEWA urban vendors buy directly from SEWA rural producers  infrastructure services at vending sites: shelter, water, sanitation  identity (ID) cards  legal representation in courts: to fight harassment, evictions and summary warrants  national policy on street vendors (2004)►national law on street vendors (2014)

16 SEWA LEGAL ARGUMENTS FOR URBAN INFORMAL WORKERS IN INDIA Homeworkers  labor rights and standards: assumed to apply to all workers  assumption of employment relationship: not sale-purchase contract Construction Workers  labor rights and standards: assumed to apply to all workers  assumption of discrimination: test of employment does not require a long- term contract Street Vendors  “right to vend”: this flows from “right to carry on a trade or business” (Article 19 (1)(g) of Constitution), NOT from “right to life” (Article 21 of Constitution)  “right to vend in public space”: all public streets and roads vest in the State which then regulates use of public space - but courts have right to intervene if State imposes unreasonable restrictions Waste Pickers  “right to a healthy life/environment”: this flows from “right to life” (Article 21 of Constitution) and has been used by courts as a basis to direct municipalities to undertake waste management - but most of these orders ignore waste pickers and their contribution to waste management Source: Kamala Sankaran, Professor of Law, Delhi University

17 SEWA CASE # 1: HOME-BASED WORKERS

18 BASIC FACTS RE URBAN HBW  share of total urban employment: India: 14% of all workers Mumbai: 8% of all workers  share of women’s urban employment: India: 32% (10% of men’s) Mumbai: 20% (5% of men’s)  found in many branches of industry: from labor-intensive manufacturing to services to trade  share of all manufacturing units & workers in India: around 50%  directly affected by macroeconomic trends, city policies & practices, value chain dynamics - yet invisible to policy makers Sources: Chen & Raveendran 2014, Raveendran 2015, Chen 2014, Basu and Basole 2011

19 IEMS KEY FINDINGS REGARDING HOME-BASED WORKERS IN 3 ASIAN CITIES Lack of infrastructure services: ranked as main city-related problem by focus groups of home-based workers (45 total, 15 per city) - electricity: 21 FGs housing: 17 FGs transport: 10 FGs Note: small size/poor quality of housing + insecure tenure + evictions were other main city-related problems Cost of Transport: reported in survey of 450 home-based workers (150 per city) 30% of total expenditures of those who spent on transport, one quarter operated at a loss Source: Chen 2014: Informal Economy Monitoring Study Sector Report: Home-Based Workers.

20 BACKWARD & FORWARD LINKAGES: HOME-BASED GARMENT MAKERS & INCENSE STICK ROLLERS Source: Ahmedabad Focus Group 12, Chen 2014 IEMS Sector Report: Home-Based Workers

21 SEWA MAHILA HOUSING TRUST  Construction of low-income housing  Planning, designing and delivering basic water and sanitation infrastructure in slums and other low-income areas in partnership with local government;  Facilitating access to energy for the poor including electrification of low-income households, and alternative energy sources such as solar lighting, bio-gas and smokeless stoves  Karmika School for Construction Workers for upgrading skills of women construction workers  Mobilization of poor communities, including training and capacity building of rural and urban community organizations  Linking communities with housing and infrastructure finance  Networking and advocacy for state-level and national-level housing and infrastructure-related urban and rural development policies and programs

22 SEWA MHT SLUM UPGRADING PROJECT  Aimed to provide a package of basic infrastructure services, including: household connections for water supply; underground sewerage for individual households; toilets for individual households; storm water drainage; stone paving of internal and approach roads; landscaping and solid waste management; and street lighting  Involved partnership between Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, SEWA MHT and local communities: each bearing one-third of the costs

23 BEFORE & AFTER PARIVARTAN SLUM UPDGRADING: MELDI NAGAR, AHMEDABAD Source: Rusling WIEGO Policy Brief No. 1

24 IMPACT OF SLUM UPGRADING  Provision of Water and Sanitation ► improved quality of life saved time → enhanced productivity reduced inconvenience & embarrassment improved community relations improved health/reduced incidence of disease  Civic Engagement ► enhanced personal skills and confidence improved relationship between communities and city

25 SEWA CASE # 2: STREET VENDORS

26 BASIC FACTS RE STREET VENDORS  share of total urban employment: India: 4% Mumbai: 3.5%  share of women’s urban employment: India: 3% (4% of men’s) Mumbai: 2% (4% of men’s)  cluster in what SEWA calls “natural markets: where there is significant pedestrian/customer flow – e.g. around transport hubs, wholesale markets, schools, hospitals, temples/mosques and residential colonies  directly affected by macroeconomic trends, city policies & practices, value chain dynamics - especially the policies & practices of local authorities (police, municipal officials) Sources: Chen & Raveendran 2014, Raveendran 2015, and Chen 2014

27 STREET VENDORS & THE LAW IN INDIA  Location & Licensing = policy debates revolve around these 2 key issues  Common Policy Stance: role of city government is to control and govern access to public space and to restrict access to licences  Existing Laws: empower local government & police  Corporation/Town Planning/Urban Development Acts – set out duties and rights of local government, including keeping streets free from obstruction & charging vendors for obstructing street or not having a license  Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, and Motor Vehicle Act – can be used by police to justify arresting, evicting, or otherwise penalizing street vendors – for causing a danger to the public right of way or obstructing the free flow of traffic

28 NATIONAL STREET VENDOR POLICY ► LAW IN INDIA  Supreme Court: two cases (Mumbai in 1985, Ahmedabad in 1996) ruled that street vending is a constitutionally protected practice, subject to reasonable restrictions  National Policy: introduced in 2004 and revised in 2006 and 2009 – advocated by SEWA & National Association of Street Vendors in India (NASVI)  to legalize street vending  to protect street vendors  to create a system of local self-management: Town Vending Committees to determine Vending Zones, Restricted Vending Zones, & No Vending Zones  National Law: called for by Supreme Court in 2011, pushed for by SEWA & NASVI & enacted in 2014!

29 NATURAL MARKETS OF VENDORS IN CENTRAL & PERIPHERAL AREAS, AHMEDABAD Source: SEWA

30 STREET VENDORS (NON-FOOD): RESIDENCE & VENDING SITES Source: Ahmedabad All Focus Groups, Mahadevia et al 2014

31 BACKWARD & FORWARD LINKAGES: STREET NON-FOOD VENDORS Source: Ahmedabad All Focus Groups, Mahadevia 2014

32 URBAN DEVELOPMENT & STREET VENDORS IN AHMEDABAD  Five major urban development projects affecting street vendors in Ahmedabad: the Kankaria Lake redevelopment project and associated development The Bhadra Fort restoration project the construction of flyovers at important junctions, which has caused dispersal of the vendors from their natural markets road widening for reducing motor vehicular congestion or for putting in Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lanes; declaration of certain roads as “model roads”.  SEWA estimates of numbers of street vendors evicted : BRT Phase I - 2,000 declaration of certain roads as model roads – 5,142 Bhadra Fort restoration – 4,000 Notes: A model road is defined by the AMC as one with unrestricted flow of vehicular traffic. Hence, the model roads tend to have narrow footpaths, and wide carriageways for motorized vehicles: with no “encroachments” allowed. Vendors are considered to be encroaching by the AMC and are removed from time to time by the encroachment removal squad of the AMC. Phase I of the Ahmedabad BRT corridor is 58.3 km long (Mahadevia, Joshi and Datey 2012) Source: Mahadevia et al 2014: IEMS City Report: Street Vendors

33 STREET VENDORS OF BHADRA FORT AREA, AHMEDABAD  Bhadra Fort & Park built in 1411 by Sultan Ahmed Shah who founded Ahmedabad Fort: houses Bhadrakali Temple – 1000s of devotees per day Park: became natural market of vendors over the decades - some 4,000 vendors (including 576 SEWA members) with an estimated turnover of million rupees (or around m USD) in 2011 (Jajoo 2011)  Bhadra Park ► Bhadra Heritage Plaza 2011 – plans approved & funded by national Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission January work began, 4,000 vendors evicted ► vendors shifted to surrounding area Pre-Diwali 2013 – SEWA negotiated a “Women’s Market” within the plaza area November 2014 – restoration work completed & public allowed to enter ► Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner (AMC) ordered that all vendors should be removed ►SEWA negotiated with AMC to not evict the vendors (citing guarantees promised by previous AMC) December 2014 – AMC announced that a “lottery draw” would be set up by which vendors would be assigned to either Bhadra Plaza or an area one kilometer away (Sardar Baug) ► SEWA began to register vendors for that draw February 2015 – AMC announced the draw with 2-hours notice ► vendor leaders refused to participate at such short notice ► AMC officials went ahead with the draw in an empty hall February-March 2015 – SEWA filed court case against AMC ► judge ruled against draw in favor of vendors staying in Bhadra Plaza and surrounding area ► SEWA & AMC engaged in active negotiations (even today) regarding identifying genuine Bhadra Fort-Plaza vendors and allocating them vending spaces as per SEWA’s plans/designs for the Bhadra Plaza and surrounding area Manali Shah, head of the SEWA Union in Ahmedabad, will keep us posted!!!!

34 Photos by Marty Chen BHADRA PLAZA & SURROUNDING AREA: FEBRUARY 2013

35 DEVI-BEN: EVICTED FROM HER HOME & WORKPLACE  Devi-ben, a SEWA member, was one of the 4,000 vendors evicted from the Bhadra Fort natural market which was converted into a heritage plaza – she and her fellow vendors now sell from the street and alley-ways around the plaza Devi-ben, her family, and her husband’s clan were evicted from their ancestral home – a colony of traditional artisans in the center of new Ahmedabad – and relocated to tenement housing on the outskirts of the city Devi-ben has had to cut back on expenditures (including tea during her long work day) due to decreased earnings and increased cost of transport Devi-ben asks: “Aren’t we part of the heritage – the culture – of the city?”

36 EXPOSURE DIALOGUE WITH DEVI-BEN Photos from Marty Chen’s camera

37 DISCUSSION OF SEWA CASES: HOME-BASED WORKERS & STREET VENDORS  what strikes you as the most innovative aspects of these examples?  what are the weaknesses?  what are your main takeaways?  what questions do you have?

38 SEWA & FOUR INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENTS SEWA has played a leading role and had great influence on four international movements  women’s movement: focus on women as workers; focus on working poor women  micro-finance movement: focus on savings; focus on building a bank, not a project  labour movement: first trade union of informal workers to gain international recognition; largest trade union of informal workers  informal worker movement: co-founder and guiding light of many organizations of informal workers around the world, including WIEGO network

39 SEWA & INTERNATIONAL FIELDS OF PRACTICE SEWA has played a leading role and had great influence on different international fields of practice labour organizing cooperatives workers’ education micro-finance health and health insurance social protection and social assistance fair trade and ethical trade labour force statistics housing and housing services

40 SEWA & INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENT OF INFORMAL WORKERS THE 1970s – LOCAL ORGANIZING 1972 – Founding of SEWA 1970s – Organizing of Domestic Workers in Latin America THE 1980s – NATIONAL POLICIES & INTERNATIONAL LINKAGES 1986 – National Workshop on Hawkers and Vendors, India 1987 – National Commission on Self-Employed Workers, India 1987 – National Conference on Home-Based Workers (with ILO), India 1997/8 – SEWA invited to join two Global Union Federations (GUFs) THE 1990s – INTERNATIONAL POLICIES & NETWORKS 1994 – Founding of HomeNet 1995 – First Meeting of StreetNet 1996 – ILO Convention on Homework 1997 – Founding of WIEGO 1999 – Founding of HomeNet South Asia THE 2000s – INTERNATIONAL POLICIES & GLOBAL MOVEMENT 2000/1 – 6 Regional Meetings of Informal Workers 2002 – General Discussion on Informal Economy at ILC 2002 – Official Launch of StreetNet 2003/6 – 2 International Conferences on “Organizing Informal Workers” 2006 – SEWA invited to join International Trade Union Congress (ITUC) 2008 – First International Conference of Waste Picker Organizations 2008/13 – Founding of International Domestic Workers Network/Federation ILO Convention on Domestic Workers

41 FUTURE VISION: HYBRID ECONOMIES & ECONOMIC DIVERSITY “The challenge is to convince the policy makers to promote and encourage hybrid economies in which micro-businesses can co-exist alongside small, medium, and large businesses: in which the street vendors can co-exist alongside the kiosks, retail shops, and large malls. Just as the policy makers encourage bio diversity, they should encourage economic diversity. Also, they should try to promote a level playing field in which all sizes of businesses and all categories of workers can compete on equal and fair terms.“ Ela Bhatt Founder, SEWA Founding Chair, WIEGO

42 THANK YOU! ધન્યવાદ !


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