New Report: Mother’s Day in the Flower Fields


Photography: Nadège Mazars / Hans Lucas

Did you know American consumers buy 78% of the flowers produced in Colombia, and will spend roughly two billion dollars on this product flowers this Mother’s Day?

Did you know that 65% of the workers who produce these flowers near Bogota are women? Or that these employees only earn around $8.5 per day? That they have been working an average of 84 hours every week for the last month – in preparation for Mother’s Day -with no days off, sometimes sleeping at their work sites?

Read PASO’s new report HERE.

Watch VIDEOS of two workers explaining their hardships HERE and HERE.

PASO recently accompanied Colombian flower employees to conduct a worker-led investigation, and produce a report, on labor conditions in this sector. Surveys revealed patterns of union-busting, work-related disabilities, and sexual harassment targeting female employees. Some of the more alarming figures:

  • 71% of those employees surveyed believed that overtime in peak seasons was obligatory, although laws and regulations state otherwise.
  • 16% of employees were working these long houses despite having been diagnosed with conditions such as tendonitis, carpel tunnel syndrome, and torn rotator cuffs, to avoid being fired due to their medical conditions.
  • 50% of employees felt their health had been negatively impacted by their jobs; percentages increase with the number of years worked – 76% of those who had worked for more than 20 years suffered from medical conditions, almost all related to repetitive actions at work.
  • 20% of the women surveyed reported having suffered sexual harassment or knowing female coworkers who had.
  • Less than 200 employees in the Colombian flower sector, of an estimated 130,000, belong to a union.

HELP US SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THIS SCANDALOUS SITUATION!!! We can raise awareness this weekend among consumers on Facebook and Twitter, and by tagging the Colombian Labor Ministry @MintrabajoCol and @asocolflores