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1 The Informal Economy – Strengthening the Role of Trade Unions. Trade Union Response Needed Sergejus Glovackas, ICFTU CEE Unit.

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Presentation on theme: "1 The Informal Economy – Strengthening the Role of Trade Unions. Trade Union Response Needed Sergejus Glovackas, ICFTU CEE Unit."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 The Informal Economy – Strengthening the Role of Trade Unions. Trade Union Response Needed Sergejus Glovackas, ICFTU CEE Unit

2 2 What is the Informal Economy? « All economic activities by workers and economic units that are – in law or in practice – not covered or insufficiently covered by formal arrangements » Informal employment (without secure contracts, worker benefits or social protection) both inside and outside informal enterprises

3 3 What is not the Informal Economy? Criminal or illegal economy Criminal or illegal economy

4 4 Why is the Informal Economy Growing? Inappropriate legal and institutional frameworks and lack of good governance Global employment deficit and failure of macro- economic policies Growing poverty Demographic patterns, including labour surplus, migration and effects of HIV/AIDS Globalization and impact on new organization of production and work

5 5 Informal Economy Action Plan Recognizes that all those who work have rights Promotes understanding that any job is better than no job Addresses both the causes and manifestations of informality Focuses on quantity and quality of jobs Combines a focus on both informal economic units and workers Aims at reducing economic and social deficits for enabling entry into the mainstream economy

6 6 Why do they disappear ? What types of organizations exist? Strengthening organization and representation Promoting an enabling environment (legal framework and governance) for effective exercise of the right to organize and bargaining collectively Devising and strengthening innovative forms of action by traditional partners Removing obstacles to the formation of organizations of workers and employers and helping them to organize Developing broad-based and all-inclusive dialogue and strategic alliances

7 7 ICFTU, ETUC and GUFs should: Reconsider how Global Unions’ own structures and activities can be improved to integrate IE workers’ organisations and Collaborate better with NGOs/networks that support them, e.g. In the ICFTU Task Force on the informal economy; Encourage and support affiliates to organise all workers across the “Formal-informal” spectrum; this includes not only those in highly affect sectors but also other sectors where the impact is not so visible and unions still concentrate on the formal economy; Promote information exchange and pilot programmes for IE workers’ organisation, including exchanges between activists, particularly between CEE countries and the South; Take advantage of the new approaches in the ILO to support and promote policies to combat deregulation and its manifestations such as sub-contracting and temporary work agencies, to widen the scope of the employment relationship, etc.; Offer technical assistance, etc.

8 8 ICFTU, ETUC and GUFs should: Offer technical assistance, etc.; Promote co-operation between the unions of the CEE region. Assist them to promote to convince workers of the value of collective action; Strengthen contacts between unions of CEE countries and Western Europe where CEE migrants work; consider mechanisms for promoting cross-border union recognition; Bring more pressure on the European Union to develop migration policies that are less restrictive and more based on human and workers’ rights; Ensure that labour Directives cover the “self-employed” and other forms of informal employment; Affiliates should recognise the need to provide resources for this work.

9 9 All TUs, nationally and internationally, should: Agree that these issues are worth fighting for, to protect the most vulnerable workers and to ensure the survival of the trade union movement; educate members and officials on this; allocate the necessary resources; Place a major emphasis on organising workers in the IE; Encourage the training of organisers who understand the issues, where possible taken from the target groups themselves; Change union statutes so as to make them more open to informal workers; Campaign for the revision of the law where this is needed; Develop collaboration with “labour-friendly” NGOs, international networks, etc.; To exchange information and share good practice; Link up with meetings on the same topic in other world regions, organised by such organisations as WIEGO, IFWEA, Commission for Asian Women, etc.

10 10 ILO 90th Session, 2002 TUs can sensitise workers in the informal economy to the importance of having collective representation through educational programmes; TUs can also make efforts to include workers in the IE in collective agreements; With women accounting for a majority in the IE, TUs should create or adapt internal structures to promote the participation and representation of women and also to present their specific needs; TUs can provide special services to workers in the IE, including information on their legal rights, educational projects, etc.; There is also a need to develop and promote positive strategies to combat discrimination of all forms, to which workers of the IE are particularly vulnerable.

11 11 Useful Web Links ILO on the Global

12 12 How to plan activities? Activity for working groups The first thing is we have to know what we want to achieve: What? – we have to be very precise, e.g. to increase TU membership by 10 %. Who? – who does what, etc. When? – we have to settle concrete timetable depending on the size of an enterprise. How? – the more employees you recruit, the bigger support you will have. For whom? - target group Resources.

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