Boulevard of Broken Dreams
As I walked through Piazza del Popolo tonight I could immediately tell that some sort of protest had happened there today. Workers were dismantling staging and street cleaning trucks were whirring their way around the square. The debris that remained before the cleaners had a chance to do their magic struck my imagination and I started looking down to see what sort of evidence the people had left behind. What scraps of “trash” had they deemed worthy to dump on the ground. I settled on this broken Beck’s bottle and got this shot I really like. Why did I title this post Boulevard of Broken Dreams? Well, when I got home I did a little Googling and saw the protest was by CGIL, one of the oldest and largest workers unions in Italy. According to different sources anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 came out to protest against how the government is handling the economic crisis in Italy. One of their many talking points was the extension of the maximum amount of time one is allowed to put their employees on cassa integrazione. This is basically a way for struggling companies not to fire employees, but instead make a rule that (in very basic terms) allows everyone to keep their job, but at a reduced wage and work week. This is supposed to be a temporary solution with laws stating a specific amount of weeks employees can be put on cassa integrazione, but there have been moves to up the length of time employees are forced into this situation. Yes, I suppose it’s better than being fired and a few long weekends sound great, but I know someone who has been in this situation since the summer and in the end, they are still expected to keep up the same workload and production level, just with less pay, so effectively on the days when they aren’t supposed to “work,” they are still doing so from home. Broken dreams indeed….