Issues of social security for informal workers are debated nationally and regionally. FES Zambia intends to promote the advocacy of informal workers in general and in relationship to approaches of social protection of marginalized group of workers. The focus is on the establishment of relevant structures, pooling their capacities as well as networking and debate between different stakeholder groups at national, regional and international level. The project aims to strengthen the capacity for advocacy of informal workers through member-based organizations who play a major role in building alliances for a collective vision towards the plight of informal workers. Although many informal workers are organized, their organizations are under resourced and often lack the capacity to engage meaningfully in national social protection debates. Furthermore, organizations of informal workers are not recognised within official tripartite bargaining structures where access to work-related social protections are negotiated. This means that they lack voice and influence over policy processes, which further marginalises them in the provision of social protection. In recent years, trade unions in several African countries have started to develop relationships with informal worker organizations. For example, a 2015 compilation from the ITUC’s African Labour Research Network (ALRN) documents reveals evolving relationships between informal workers and established trade unions in Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The aim of this workshop was to:
support the strengthening of the relationship between informal worker organizations and formal trade union affiliates of the ITUC-Africa in negotiating for rights based social protection. The two-day workshop was characterized by role plays, presentations and group work. A total of 38 participants (males 17 and 21 females) from the informal economy and trade unions participated in the workshop. Ghana was represented by IVHAG and the GTUC, Togo by FAINTRASIT and the LO-FTF, Tanzania by TUICO (who unfortunately did not bring their informal worker counterparts), and Zambia by AZIEA and ZCTU.