- Title: Organising the Unorganised: A Case Study of the Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (Trade Union of Waste-pickers)
- Resource Title: Organising the Unorganised: A Case Study of the Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (Trade Union of Waste-pickers)
This paper provides a thorough case study of the Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP), an Indian trade union of waste pickers. The union was registered in order to promote establishing waste pickers as workers, and waste picking as work that contributed to resource recovery, cost saving for the municipality, and environmental protection. In the beginning, the organization did not offer any tangible benefits or services, but attracted members by appealing to the idea that collective action could end the stigma experienced by waste pickers and improve their social position. Since then, the union has evolved to use a combination of mass struggle and development activities, and is now offering the members a range of insurance schemes and financial services through a savings cooperative. At the same time it is mobilizing collectively against injustices such as police harassment; extortion by local officials; and child labour. The union is also aiming to incorporate the members into sustainable urban management policies, and to incorporate their activities into official garbage collection schemes. The union membership includes both men and women, recognising and addresses the gender inequalities.