"A New Social Contract Inclusive of Informal Workers" by Laura Alfers, Martha Chen and Sophie Plagerson

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"A New Social Contract Inclusive of Informal Workers"
"A New Social Contract Inclusive of Informal Workers"

Informal workers have long lacked legal recognition: stigmatised and penalised, they are also excluded from collective bargaining and social contracts. Is something better possible ? NALSU's Dr Laura Alfers is co-author of a new UNU-WIDER working Paper entitled, "A New Social Contract Inclusive of Informal Workers, " which is available here . 

Dr Alfers is Director of WIEGO's Social Protection Programme, a NALSU member and a Research Associate in the Department of Sociology & Industrial Sociology. It is in line with NALSU's research commitments, ongoing engagements with workers' movements and in workers' education, and policy interventions in areas including minimum wages, social policy and union renewal. Click here for more information on Dr Alfer's work with WIEGO. 

The paper co-authored with Martha Chen and Sophie Plagerson, outlines three possible future scenarios: the bad old contract, an even worse contract, and a better new contract. An even worse new contract is possible given the intensification of predatory capitalism, repressive state policies and the collusion of state and capital, in the wake of the
COVID-19 pandemic recession.

The key features of a better new deal are recognition, responsiveness, and reciprocity, between state, capital, and informal labour (the majority of workers globally). The working paper is part of a larger project, "Transforming Informal Work and Livelihoods " ,by UNU-WIDER (United Nations University-World Institute for Development Economics Research), and was produced in partnership with WIEGO (Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organising), a global network focused on empowering the working poor.