Despite its crucial role in the Ugandan economy, labour power has rarely been studied by social scientists. In particular, the real life experience of workers as they interact with both capital and the state has been ignored. This huge gap is redressed in this study by Ugandan authors at the Centre for Basic Research in Kampala. It provides a detailed analysis of rural Ugandan labour today. The violent imposition of colonial taxes in Uganda at the turn of the nineteenth century changed village life irrevocably by introducing a cash-based economy. Subsistence farming was superseded by the need to generate income. At the same time, the arrival of technology separated villagers into classes and redefined gender roles. Studies range from salt winners inside Katwe National Park, to the degradation and explicit oppression of dairy farmers in Kigezi and the life of fisherpeople near Lake Victoria, giving an in-depth description of the human experience of wage labour. Three village case studies complete the analysis.