Independent trade unions in Mexico have teamed up with unions around the world to promote freedom of association and labor rights in Mexico during the Global Days of Action, held from February 14 to 19.
While friends, families and couples celebrate Valentine’s Day, Colombian workers, unions, and NGOs are joining together to commemorate something different this February 14th: the International Day of the Flower Worker.
U.S. consumers spend over $18 billion annually on flowers, 60% of which are imported from Colombia. Eighty-four percent of the flowers produced in Colombia are exported to the United States, but the conditions for those who harvest and prepare the flowers are atrocious.
Colombian Vice-President Angelino Garzón’s visit to Washington last week intensified the push for the ratification of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the U.S. and Colombia. In meetings with top U.S.
On December 20, 2010, unidentified robbers broke into the offices of the Center for Worker Support (CAT), a non-profit organization that has been supporting organizing efforts at two Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI) factories in Puebla, Mexico, and scrawled the following message on the wall: YOU DO NOT KNOW WHO YOU ARE MESSING WITH. The robbers hacked into the e-mail address of Blanca Velázquez, CAT’s Executor Director, and the CAT institutional account, stole paper and electronic documents, and destroyed equipment, causing more than 200,000 pesos in damage.
Amid concerns that the Obama Administration will be swayed by a stronger Republican Congress to push for the passage of the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, a key House Democrat is headed to Colombia this month.
A recent international solidarity campaign helped lead to the pre-Christmas reinstatement of five union leaders who faced dismissal proceedings following their participation in a strike at the only children’s hospital in El Salvador.
The Colombian justice system is falling further behind in the fight against impunity for anti-union violence, according to USLEAP’s third-annual report released on December 22 that examines convictions of murderers of trade unionists.
This holiday season, United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) is encouraging students, alumni and their families to support a breakthrough brand of clothing called Alta Gracia, the first union-made, living wage line of collegiate apparel that is now available in university bookstores (and online) across the U.S.
Thugs entered the Guacarí flower plantation in Colombia yesterday and suppressed striking workers. In response to increasing violence and financial pressure, every permanent Guacarí flower worker resigned and was replaced by subcontracted labor. Strikes continue on at least three other Floramerica-Sunburst plantations.
Hundreds of flower workers in Colombia been striking to protest the failure of the country’s largest grower to pay wages and legally-required benefits. The most recent strikes began on November 16 when flower workers at the Guacarí plantation in Zipaquira, Colombia, near Bogotá, went on strike in response to Floramerica’s labor rights violations. These include withholding pay for more than a month and neglecting to provide other legally-required benefits for several months, including social security and health insurance.