Africa's Informal Workers: Collective Agency, Alliances and by Ilda Lindell

By Ilda Lindell

A part of the groundbreaking Africa Now sequence, Africa's casual employees explores the deepening methods of informalization and casualization of labor which are altering livelihood possibilities and stipulations in Africa and past. In doing so, the e-book addresses the jointly equipped responses to those adjustments, proposing them as an immense size of the modern politics of casualness in Africa. It is going past the standard concentrate on family 'coping recommendations' and person sorts of organisation, through addressing the growing to be variety of collective businesses during which casual 'workers' make themselves noticeable and articulate their calls for and pursuits. The rising photograph is that of a hugely diversified panorama of organised actors, reflecting the good variety of pursuits within the casual economic climate. this offers grounds for tensions but additionally possibilities for alliance. The e-book additionally explores the unconventional pattern of transnational organizing by way of casual employees, amassing case reviews from 9 international locations and towns throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, and from sectors starting from city casual merchandising and repair supply, to casual production, informal port paintings and cross-border trade.Africa's casual staff is a full of life and well timed exam of the adjustments in African livelihoods as a result of deep and ongoing financial, political and social adjustments.

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Both ­address the role of trade unions in improving the conditions of casual workers and in eventually reversing the downgrading of labour resulting from casualization and flexibilization of labour. Jordhus-Lier discusses the strategies adopted by a municipal workers’ union in Cape Town, South Africa, in response to the intertwined processes of privatization of municipal services and the informal­ ization of the municipal workforce in the context of local government restruc­ turing. Besides engaging in alliances with community organizations and social movements over service delivery issues, the union has begun to directly organize casual workers in private companies that perform former municipal tasks.

Over the last twenty years, many developing-country cities have seen a rapid growth in the informal economy. Street trade is particularly evident in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where growth in urban populations has been accompanied by limited job creation among the poor (Cohen 2003; Carr and Chen 2002). Precise measurement of informality is difficult, but informal employment is thought to account for around 60 per cent of all urban employment in Africa, and in India to employ over 95 per cent of non-agricultural women workers (ILO 2002a: 12–16).

During 2002/03 there was renewed debate about moving Sandaga market in Dakar. The grands commerçants put forward a proposal to reorganize the market in a way that would tie hawkers to particular wholesalers, by designating trading tables as the property of particular wholesalers, with only their goods to be displayed there. This disenfranchised any non-member wholesalers and made sure that hawkers had no freedom to change supplier (Lyons and Snoxell 2005a). In November 2007, hawkers and street traders rioted in response to moves by the mayor of Dakar to evict them, but the president quashed the eviction, and helped to set up a national federation of street traders.

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