Conference Summary and Proceedings


Friday December 2, 2011

Keynote Address
Shawna Bader-Blau, Executive Director, Solidarity Center

Research Presentation: Trade Union Responses to Organizing in the Informal Economy
Rutgers University researchers

Panel Response: How are established trade unions organizing and integrating workers from outside their traditional membership and sector base?

Facilitator: Alex Feltham, Solidarity Center

Introduction to General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi
Cathy Feingold, Director, International Department, AFL-CIO

Welcoming Remarks
Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU)

Q&A/Plenary Discussion: All conference participants will participate in a moderated discussion to ask questions and offer comments to researchers, case study presenters, and each other

Skill-Building Workshops: Participatory workshops to teach and share practical strategies for organizing and representing workers in the informal sector

Panel Discussion: Building Bridges: (Discussing innovative partnerships and types of organizations that bridge the gap between “formal” and “informal” sectors to secure decent work for all workers)

Facilitator: Brian Finnegan, Solidarity Center

Saturday December 3

Research Presentation: How informal economy workers across countries and sectors organize to defend their rights and improve their working conditions

Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO)

Panel Response: How are grassroots organizations representing workers and relating to the formal labor movement?

Facilitator: Lisa McGowan, Solidarity Center

  • Myrtle Witbooi: South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union, SADSAWU, (South Africa)
  • Orlando Reyes: Union of Autonomous Workers, FENTAE; street and market vendors (Honduras)
  • Tikka Khan: Akhbaar Faroosh Federation; Newspaper Delivery Persons Federation (Pakistan)

Q&A/Plenary Discussion: Questions and comments to researchers, case study presenters, and each other

Breakout Discussions: An opportunity to debate major conference themes in depth, and share experiences/best practices

Debrief and Report Back from Workshops: Conclusions, questions, and highlights from 1st and 2nd days’ break-out sessions

Facilitator: David Welsh, Solidarity Center

Panel: Conclusion

Facilitator: Cathy Feingold, AFL-CIO

  • Shawna Bader-Blau, Solidarity Center
  • Adrienne Eaton, Rutgers University
  • Representative, WIEGO

Workshops and Breakout Discussions

Friday December 2

Workshop: Mapping and Power Analysis in Informal Workplaces
Al Hosinski, Solidarity Center

Resource Materials

  • Mapping Advocacy Strategies
  • The Growth of the Informal Economy: Workers on Their Own
  • Economics for All: Economic Democracy in a Global Economy
  • Health and Safety Organizing: A Worker’s Guide

Workshop: How to Develop and Advance Policy and Legislative Campaigns
Vimbai Mushongera, ZCTU (Zimbabwe) & Sonia Mistry, Solidarity Center

Resource Materials

Workshop: Civic Education for Advocacy (in Spanish with English translation)
Orlando Reyes, FENTAEH (Honduras) & Stephen Wishart, Solidarity Center

Resource Materials

Workshop: Comparing Organizing Models and Strategies to Identify “Golden Rules” for Worker Organizing

Alejandra Ancheita, ProDESC (Mexico), Joell Molina, AFL-CIO & Lorraine Clewer, Solidarity Center

Resource Materials

Workshop: Building Power for Informal Workers through Civil Society Coalitions: Strong Partnerships and Reliable Alliances

Alex Feltham & Tristan Masat, Solidarity Center

Resource Materials

Saturday December 3

Discussion: Organizing Migrant Workers
Nadia Marin, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, NDLON (US) &
Tim Ryan, Solidarity Center

Discussion: Building Sustainable Organizations of Informal Economy Workers, Lessons from the Domestic Work Sector (in Spanish and Portuguese with English translation)
Maria Noeli dos Santos, FENTRAD (Brazil) & Brian Finnegan, Solidarity Center

Discussion: Identifying and Addressing Exclusion in Work and Worker Organizations
Alexis de Simone, Solidarity Center

Discussion: The Politics of “Informality” and Economic Policy
Habib Rajeb, UGTT (Tunisia) & Michael Schwaabe, Solidarity Center

Resource Materials

  • Habib Rajeb Presentation on the Informal Economy in Tunisia (French)
  • Habib Rajeb Presentation on the Informal Economy in Tunisia (English
  • Discussion: Breakout Discussion on Emerging Conference Themes and Debates
    Tom Egan, Solidarity Center
Additional Resource Materials

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