Informal Economy in NIS countries workshop

“Promoting rights and representing workers engaged in informal labor relations" NIS sub regional workshop took place in Tbilissi Georgia on 28-29 of April.

Participants from Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan has discussed the PERC/FNV IE project activities since September 2007, exchanged activity experience , presented national action plans and achieved results, agreed on IE workers in NIS’s information network, prepared recommendations for work with Informal workers in crisis conditions, discussed future action plans.

During first project phase around 6000 informal workers organised into target NIS trade unions, mostly from commerce, transport and textile sectors. 9 raising awareness round tables with social partners took place in 5 countries. More then 1500 TU members and non members attended educational informational activities related with the project.

Project scientific tutor Prof. Krastyo Petkov in conclusion note: no any sign that IE will be reduced, it is transferred from the periphery to the centre, also IE transfer internationally, there is no national specificity, it spreads through the migrants and MNC’s. Self-employment boom is becoming a major form of employment in the region.

PERC Executive secretary Grigor Gradev summarised discussion and mark the thesis that well-developed market economy will eliminate the IE is a myth. IE adapts to the formal economy and mixes with it (envelope pay). IE is already shaping society and the economy, market will not solve problems, and trade unions have to influence legal framework changes, traditional approach does not give results, there is need to seek new approaches. Crisis is a good time to change the society towards the positive.

Representatives of ILO Moscow, AFL-CIO Solidarity centre and ITUC/PERC Moscow office made big input in to workshop discussions.
According independent researches 48% from all employees in New Independent States are engaged in Informal Economy.

/ S.Glovackas

Workshop minutes
MInibus drivers union in Georgia