Collectivising Workers

Migrant workers in construction, factories, hotels, services, domestic work are an unorganized and dispersed workforce. Their frequent movement between their homes and places of work and the pressures on them to maximize earnings during their work cycles impose many constraints on migrants’ ability to come together and organize to have a shared voice representing their interests

Aajeevika Bureau has actively promoted workers collectives based on their occupations to enable platforms for workers’ unity and representation. There are active and articulate workers’ collectives among workers in construction, stone carving, textile, and hotel industry – together they represent thousands of migrants from Rajasthan, UP, Bihar, Odisha, and other states. Of over 20 collectives that have been formed, nearly 6 have advanced to being registered as formal trade unions thus asserting their own legal identity as worker's organizations. The Aravalli Nirmaan Mazdoor Suraksha Sangh in Udaipur, Pathar Gadhai in Pindwara, Baandhkaam Mazdoor Vikas Sangh in Ahmedabad, Pravasi Shramik Suraksha Manch in Surat and the Kamgaar Sahayta Samiti in Mumbai - these are some examples of powerful worker collectives and unions that Aajeevika Bureau has helped seed across prominent migrant destinations

Collectives and unions are playing several significant roles – they are active in mediation and dispute resolution for their members and they have successfully intervened in several complex cases dealing with workplace compensation following accidents and injuries. In many cases workers’ collectives play a crucial role as intermediaries in facilitating access to state's social security schemes. Finally, they are becoming an important stakeholder in building the agenda of improving workplace safety and health for workers at risk in precarious work environments