February 08, 2010

Fair Trade: Support the Valentine's Day of Action

Source: Lee Cutler, Secretary Treasurer
cocoa laborers

NYSUT Brothers and Sisters,

It's time for us to face some hard truths about holiday celebrations. While we are fortunate enough to experience joy in most if not all major holidays, these celebrations often become a time of exploitation for those in the world who have the least.

Valentine's Day is no exception.

Last year, we called your attention to the flower pickers of Ecuador and provided options for purchasing flowers in a socially conscious way. This year, I am happy to report, that the American Federation of Teachers is running a nationwide campaign exposing the use of child labor in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire to produce chocolate which we enjoy on Valentine's Day.

Please visit the link to learn more and at the very least, send a letter of protest as part of the AFT's Valentine's Day of Action.

Holidays provide us a unique opportunity to call attention to exploitation and in this case, the brutality of child labor. Please join us in a massive campaign to shed light on, once and for all, the horrific child labor abuses that make it possible for us to enjoy Valentine's Day.

In solidarity,

Lee Cutler,
Secretary-Treasurer