With Valentine’s Day approaching, did you know that 65% of flowers in the U.S. come from Colombia? Unfortunately, though, cheaper flowers for us mean for flower workers: to learn more, watch this video from Cactus, one of our Colombian partner organizations. And take action now to help protect these workers‘ rights!
- 2/3 of workers have health problems due to exposure to pesticides and toxins (many prohibited in the U.S.).
- During the high season, many workers have to endure 12-22 hour shifts, six days a week.
- Members of the 60%-female workforce are often forced to take pregnancy tests and birth control as a condition for employment.
- Workers are denied their right to collectively organize, bargain and strike, despite the promise that the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) would protect workers.
Representative Keith Ellison (MN) currently has a resolution in Congress to recognize February 14 as International Flower Workers’ Day. This includes a commitment to improve conditions for workers and a revision of the Labor Action Plan (a provision of the U.S.-Colombia FTA) to “uphold the fulfillment of strong labor commitments under the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.”
Tell your representative to be in touch with Brieana Marticorena at Rep. Ellison’s office (Brieana.Marticorena@mail.