Millions of people throughout the world work in the informal economy. In many countries, most workers are obliged to work informally, particularly in the global South – although a growing number are to be found in advanced industrial, or post-industrial economies. This is not a choice for most informal workers, but the only means of survival in the absence of formal jobs.
GLI Manchester was commissioned by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) as a direct follow-up to the Trade Unions in Transformation project of the FES Global Trade Union Programme to produce a paper: ‘Crossing the Divide: Informal Workers and Trade Unions Building power’.
The paper reflects experiences and policies from examples of organisations across the spectrum of those with an interest in relationships between informal worker organisations and the trade union movement. This includes both international and national organisations, and national trade union centres and national sector-based unions and associations. The major focus is on informal worker organisation in Asia, Africa and Latin America, but includes some perspectives from organisations in the global North representing precarious and informal workers.