Colombian flower industry: These roses have thorns

It’s hard to imagine a beautiful flower has anything to do with the ugly side of free trade and globalization. But for Josefa Gomez and other workers in the profitable flower industry of Colombia, providing bouquets for U.S. and world vases has meant increasing hours with falling pay, growing health problems and human rights violations.

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‘Memory and Place’: Untold Stories labor history series begins April 22

The 2014 Untold Stories series focuses on the struggles facing workers in the past – and how they influence the issues of today. This year’s theme is “Memory and Place.” The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library sponsors this series of free, public programs in honor of Labor History Month.Here is the schedule:Pete Daniel – Dispossession
Tuesday, April 22, 7 p.m.
Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd.Pete Daniel, a past president of the Organization of American Historians and a retired curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, speaks about his recent book Dispossession: Discrimination Against African American Farmers in the Age of Civil Rights. Between 1940 and 1974, the number of African American farmers fell from 681,790 to just 45,594 – a drop of 93 percent. Daniel analyzes this decline and chronicles black farmers’ fierce struggles to remain on the land in the face of discrimination. After Daniel’s presentation, Pakou Hang from the Hmong American Farmers Association and Dale Wiehoff from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy will talk about current struggles of small farmers to keep their land. Continue Reading

On national day of action, Minneapolis protestors demand higher wage at McDonald’s

Community members, fast food workers, union members and the faith community gathered in front of the McDonald’s on Stinson Boulevard in Minneapolis to call on the fast food giant to pay family supporting wages to their employees. The event was part of a national day of actions around the United States to end poverty wages in the fast food industry.

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