A compendium of practice

Interactions between Workers’ Organizations and Workers in the Informal Economy: A Compendium of Practice

A compilation of concrete examples, drawn from around the world, showing how trade unions have sought to reach out to workers in the informal economy to reduce the decent work deficits they face and support their transition to formality.

More than 60 per cent of the world’s employed population are in informal employment and make significant contributions to societies. Many of the workers concerned are under-represented in workers’ organizations and suffer from poor working conditions and lack of social protection. The Recommendation concerning the Transition from the Informal to the Formal Economy, 2015 (No. 204) states that employers’ and workers’ organizations should, where appropriate, extend membership and services to workers and economic units in the informal economy.

This Compendium demonstrates successful interactions by workers organizations with workers in the informal economy to reduce decent work deficits in the informal economy and facilitate the transition to formality. By documenting these practical examples, the Compendium aims to make this knowledge and experience more widely available and to encourage unions to engage with the informal economy. It presents 31 recent cases showing how workers’ organizations have engaged with the informal economy. These cases, coming from different countries and industrial sectors, show the benefits for workers, enterprises and ILO member States that can result from the formalization of informal work.