Thursday, June 7, 2012

Homeless in Mumbai

Homeless in Mumbai, India: a homeless man & his child sleep on a sidewalk while striking Air India pilots walk a picket line. There’s an uncomfortable metaphor here. Airline pilots & other personnel were always privileged in relation to other working people, with substantial wages & benefits. But at least in the US, they have been under major assault since Ronald Reagan’s attack on air traffic controllers in 1981--which was a major turning point in US labor history. Now Air India & the Indian government have pulled a “Ronald Reagan” by firing the striking pilots after one month & hiring scabs to replace them. We don’t know who this homeless man is: is he unemployed or perhaps a migrant worker unable to afford housing? What we do know is that it’s a short step for most working people, now including pilots, from having a regular check that can accommodate rent to being homeless & sleeping on cardboard. What we know is that it’s an abomination this man & his wee child are sleeping on the streets. Housing is a human right & must become a battle cry in every country.  (Photo by Indranil Mukherjee/AFP)

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