Until recently, organizing in the informal sector has mainly been conducted by grassroots
organizations and it appeared that trade unions largely ignored the plight of informal workers.
Successful organizing has, however, occurred in the informal sector through homeworker mapping.
Homeworker mapping refers to a vertical and horizontal mapping program based on principles of
participation and education through action research. This paper explores homeworker mapping as a
successful organizing strategy by examining primary documents from homeworker organizations.
The paper starts with a discussion and definition of the informal sector and of homework, and then
proceeds to examine the mapping process and its outcomes. It includes a detailed case study of the
mapping experience in Chile to illustrate aspects of mapping as organizing. The paper concludes with
an examination of the implications of mapping as an organizing strategy for trade unions and other