Facing South reader KD sends this announcement from the Women's Fund of Miami-Dade, about Florida moms standing up for workers on Mother's Day:
On Friday, May 12th at noon, an alliance of mothers, faith leaders and community members will rally in front of Dole Fresh Flowers headquarters at 10055 NW 12th Street to urge the company to keep its promise to negotiate with flower workers in Colombia, most of whom are women and face dangerous working conditions every day.
Backed by a wall of paper flowers representing the 700 workers at the Dole-owned Splendor plantation in Colombia, a delegation of local mothers will present a Mother's Day card to the company in support of the women flower workers, 70% of whom are also mothers.
"Women in the United States can have a powerful voice on issues impacting women around the world. As consumers we have a responsibility to speak up when there is injustice," said Sophie Brion, Director of the Women's Advocacy Project, an initiative of Women's Fund of Miami-Dade. "We are joining together because our voices can change the way women are treated around the world."
In November 2004, flower workers at the Splendor plantations formed the first independent and democratic union at Dole's operations in Colombia. During the peak seasons around Valentine's and Mother's Days, employees at the Splendor plantation say they work up to 80 hours per week, without overtime pay, and earn less than $180 per month. Colombian flower workers are often terminated or do not have their job contracts renewed if they become pregnant while employed at the plantation, according to the union.
"Together, we can shine a light on the negative actions of U.S.-based companies. On May 12th we will raise our voices in support of Colombian flower workers' efforts to win fair wages, workplace safety, and the right to know that getting pregnant does not mean getting fired. These are basic rights that any employee should have," said Carolina Delgado, membership director of South Florida Jobs with Justice.
For more about Dole Fresh Flowers and labor issues visit here.
Lots of labor activity in the southern Sunshine State; this comes off the major victory janitors and their allies claimed after a hunger strike against the University of Miami.