Representatives sign letter, requesting reconsideration of Farmworkers Fair Labor Act
NEW YORK STATE — New York Representative Clifford W. Crouch (R-Bainbridge) joined his colleagues today, signing a letter to the Assembly Majority asking them to reconsider their stance on the Farmworkers Fair Labor Act.
The bill aims to grant farm workers collective bargaining rights, requires at least one day of rest per week, eight-hour work days, overtime compensation, unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation.
State senators including Jen Metzger and the bill’s sponsor Jessica Ramos held three public hearings on the bill throughout this last month. At the most recent, held at SUNY Sullivan, many farmers turned out to oppose the bill, saying they could not afford what it required.
“This proposal would dramatically overhaul the operations and workforce practices within the agricultural community,” the letter states. “If enacted, the legislation will have far-reaching impacts on New York’s products, prices, consumers, and competitiveness. We have heard from literally thousands of constituents who have expressed their own reservations about the bill and its potential ramifications.”
State representatives from the assembly’s minority are asking that more input from farmers statewide be taken into consideration. So far, 42 other representatives have signed the letter.
“As a former dairy farmer I know firsthand the struggles our farmers face day to day to keep their farms up and running,” said Crouch. “The dairy and agriculture industries are crucial to New York’s economy, any hiccups they feel will be devastating to New York. The agriculture industry is already fragile, we should not be putting any more of a burden our struggling farmers than they already endure. This could have devastating consequences to farmers and farm hands alike.”
Read more about the public hearings.