Waterless Urinals

Waterless_UrinalDelhi This article in The Times of India about the planning and preparations for the Commonwealth Games in 2010 is too good not to share.  It has everything.  It reminds me of that David Alan Cole number about the perfect country-and-western song.  This is just about the perfect Indian article capturing in a vivid way part of the very special culture as well as the confusion and contradiction between public and private roles:  city built latrines for the public that will pay off from the private sector and eliminate smells to boot!

Civic body plans to build 1,000 waterless urinals

New Delhi       The MCD plans to upgrade 1000 public urinals to ‘waterless urinals’ in view of the Games.  Two lakh litres of water will be saved by using the technology which will also take care of the problem of foul smell.  A proposal in this regard was passed by the standing committee on Thursday.

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Delhi Work Plan

old_delhiDelhi The best parts of my visits every fall to India are the hard, but necessary discussions, with organizers about work plans for the coming year, especially the long difficult parts where we try to create adaptations of organizing methods with cultural concerns and deep set community practices.  After three days of discussion we seem to have settled on a solid plan and budget to move forward in 2010.

On our informal worker projects the consensus was that we needed to upgrade our efforts to create a union of hawkers especially in some of the newer developing market areas where there are opportunities and organizational vacuums.  The relative stability of hawkers, their accessibility, and their ability to support the dues structure make increasing the organization there a good counterweight to the more marginal unions of waste pickers that we have concentrated on in 2009.  This is such a classic problem in low wage union organizing where relatively better waged members are needed to support more marginal and contingent members, even in the United States, where within a Local 100 it takes our public school workers in Houston and state workers in Arkansas to balance our garbage workers in Dallas and New Orleans and our nursing home workers in Shreveport.

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