Blog: February 2011

Wisconsin Workers Deserve Respect for Their International Labor Rights

These attacks on unions and workers’ rights are not being done in the name of the American people. According to a USA Today poll released this afternoon, 61% of the American public opposes limiting collective bargaining rights for unions even as a way to save money for the state budget. In addition, 53% oppose reducing pay or benefits for government workers.

Stand in Solidarity: International Day of the Flower Worker

The majority of Colombian flower workers receive the minimum wage, which covers approximately 45% of the food budget for a family. Workers often rely on overtime pay to compensate for insufficient wages, but Law 789, passed in 2002, defines the working day as 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., establishing that overtime rates are only applicable outside of that time frame. Obligatory and unpaid overtime is common, and workers comply for fear that they will lose their jobs.

The Dank Smell of Roses

Years ago, the disparity between workers’ wagers and company profits was not quite so huge. International competition has pressured companies to demand more and more of each worker, without increasing their wages. Retired agronomist Alberto Caro who once owned a share in a flower farm chose not to succumb.

The Dark Side of Chocolate

In other words, the diamond in my ring might have been placed there by a child, chained to a life of slavery, poverty and illiteracy. I have chosen not to replace my diamond for now.  

To be fair, I don’t wear much jewelry, so this isn’t a big sacrifice. Where it does hit closer to home is with my love of chocolate.

The truth about your Valentine’s candy is probably going to bring more guilt than its calorie count.

Protests in Egypt Receive Labor Organizations’ Support

This new union emphasizes the need for unemployment compensation, a higher minimum wage, extended benefits, the right to organize, and for all detainees imprisoned after January 25 to be released immediately. It brings together health sector employees, tax inspectors, manufacturers, public employees, and others. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka praised the workers for their courage and their defiance of the union ban.

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