Environment and Energy, Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, New York

NY Unions Push for Law Giving Farmworkers Rights

June 2, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

ALBANY, N.Y.—With Democrats controlling the New York State Legislature for the first time in more than 50 years, state Senate Labor Committee chair Jessica Ramos (D-Queens) hopes to pass a bill that would give the state’s 80,000 to 100,000 farmworkers the protections other workers have had since the 1930s. “We must ensure that farmworkers are granted the rights that all other workers in our state are afforded—a day off, overtime pay, unemployment benefits, and the right to collectively bargain,” she told City & State. The Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act, which would give them rights denied when they were excluded from the 1935 National Labor Relations Act and the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act, now has 32 Senate cosponsors, the first time it has ever attained majority support, Ramos said. However, she added, some compromises might be made because “farm work isn’t like a 9-to-5 office job, and is greatly impacted by inclement weather.” State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said the bill is closer than ever to passing. Other union priorities in the session include measures to protect “gig economy” workers, accelerating strikers’ eligibility for unemployment insurance, and strengthening the state’s prevailing-wage law. Read more

June 2, 2019

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.