Sources of Workers´Power - -A case study of Kenya National Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders (KENASVIT) in Nairobi

by Grith Fouchard Andersen

Institution: Roskilde University
Year: 2015
Keywords: Informal economy workers; Agency; Sourcers of power; negotiation; collective organization
Record ID: 1122317
Full text PDF: http://rudar.ruc.dk/handle/1800/23100


Abstract The working conditions of urban informal economy workers such as street vendors and service providers are characterized by low income levels and discriminating legislation. This thesis uses the Kenya National Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders (KENASVIT) as a case study to explore how improvements in the members´ working conditions are achieved. In order to more accurately understand the types of power derived from the collective organization and negotiations of KENASVIT the theoretical framework of structural power and associational power of the working class is applied. The manifestations and utilization of the associational power is illustrated using three examples of negotiations between the public authorities and KENASVIT. The case study is used to developed preliminary theoretical reflections indicating the need and the ways to rethink the theoretical framework. Three main conclusions can be drawn from this thesis. It is concluded that the urban informal economy workers possess low levels of marketplace bargaining power, but a relatively high levels of associational power. Lastly it is concluded that in order to more adequately understand the sources of power of informal economy workers in a non-developed capitalist society the theoretical framework needs revision, expansion and adjustment.