It is hard to imagine that your lovely roses are responsible for disturbingly high rates of miscarriage, birth defects, skin conditions, and breathing problems for the women who create them. Yes, human suffering grows tall and strong alongside our flawless flowers.
The same diligent workers who earned decent wages a couple of generations ago are now working just as hard for a lot less. The fact is, American productivity has nearly doubled in a generation. The problem is that the fruits of that productivity have gone to the wrong people.
The Hollywood unions largely formed in the 1930s are actually one of the last thriving representatives of that historic surge of working class power. The danger is that a Googlization of the television industry could mean the end of a living wage industry there as well.
Workers' rights advocates, alongside anti-human trafficking advocates, have been urging the U.S. government to thoroughly review visa programs that depend on foreign labor contractors in order to minimize the vulnerability of workers to human trafficking and exploitation.
When the 99 percent band together to fight for policies that would provide some relief, in a swoop the corporate lobbyists to try to squash their efforts. Witness what just happened in Denver with the paid sick days initiative.
We are engaged in a year-long project looking at Latino workers in the Midwest and the degree to which enforcement agencies are protecting them. Thus far, we can say that at the federal level it's not a pretty story.
Victims of trafficking can turn up anywhere in the United States, from teeming cities to small farming towns. And the global economic crisis, so difficult for those who are unemployed or underemployed, puts more people at risk of being trafficked.
It is their grounding in the realities of poor and working-class people, indigenous people and people of color that drives grassroots activists around the world to search for deep, structural and long-term solutions.