Workers movement today is faced with various challenges. The unprecedented scale and growth of informalization poses substantial barriers to organizing strategies. In the formal sector, massive layoffs and informalization of work due to the restructure of production, continues to happen. The production restructuring has caused more work to be informalized through outsourcing, contract system and casualization of work. This situation then constitutes various challenges in the organizing work as the union; the very form of workers’ collective bargaining power is being dismantled. Informalization at formal sector is institutionalized through deregulation of labour law.
Outside the factories, millions of informal workers in urban and rural areas must struggle to survive by scraping jobs and maintaining their income earning territory by constantly fighting for their rights to livelihood. Furthermore, the opening of new production spaces for special economic zones and the agricultural industry has deprived millions of people from their land and transformed the society into source of reserve cheap labours. Here, we highlight the dispossession of means of production and rights to collective bargaining through legal procedure and violence which creates power imbalance between workers and capital.
By working closely with partners in Asia, through this program, we challenge the prevailing power imbalance by encouraging the re-constitution of workers collective bargaining power. The program is carried out through workshops on informal workers’ organizing, capacity building to improve negotiation and bargaining skills, research and experience sharing in designing networks against union busting and elaborate research on special economic zones in six countries in Asia.