Flowers for Mom,Yes! Colombia Free Trade Agreement, No!

If you bought your Mom flowers for Mothers Day, chances are that they arrived on one of the 28 daily cargo flights into Miami from Colombia, where over 100,000 mainly female workers pick and process flowers for the U.S. market. They earn a minimal wage, are exposed to numerous toxins from pesticides and fungicides, and are systematically denied any right to representation by a union. Lobbyists representing big business and the Colombian and USA governments are using the slogan “Better Roses than Cocaine” to argue for the passage of the U.S.-Colombian Free Trade Agreement. Every genuine union trying to represent flower workers in Colombia opposes this attempt to further exploit them in the interests of Dole and other major corporate interests.

For well presented details and images related to these campaigns, you can download the new Flower Toolskit produced by the International Labor Rights Forum . For regular updates on organizing Colombian flower workers, visit the Flower Workers and Economics Justice page on the site of the U.S. Labor Education in the Americas Project (USLEAP).

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