The capitalist organization of "informal" work: the recycled garbage pickers case

This article discusses the work of recycled garbage pickers in Brazil between 1985 and 2005. The research was done using bibliography sources and statistics information from the following cities: Foz do Iguaçu, Toledo, Guaíra and Marechal Cândido Rondon. These cities are located in the west of Paraná state. Contrary to the most common view that shows these workers as informal workers or autonomous workers, not under a boss or a business, the collected information to this research indicates that the organization of this kind of work is done from the interests of the capital in the purchase, recycling, and trade of all materials collected by these workers. Thus, topics such as income and working hours are not determined exclusively by the workers. The idea developed in this article suggests that the work of recycled garbage pickers in Brazil is linked to the accumulation of capital and that the social exclusion of these workers (unemployment, low-education, high age group) qualify them for this kind of occupation.

Recycled garbage pickers; Informal work; Precarious work; Recycled; Social work history


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