Friday, January 8, 2010

Farmers Protest Farm Labor Bill in Albany

According to the New York Farm Bureau, farm families rallied at the State Capitol today to protest a labor bill that would reportedly cost farmers $200 million annually.

Critics of the bill say that federal laws already regulate migrant workers and provide fair labor standards for farm workers.  Farmers say that they already treat workers fairly and any required increases in pay would mean that they would be forced to employ fewer people for fewer hours.

Proponents of the legislation say that farm workers in New York State need explicit rights to overtime pay, a day of rest, disability insurance, child labor protections, and the right to unionize.

A News 10 video discusses both sides of the the issue, through interviews with representatives from the NY Farm Bureau and the Justice for Farmworkers Campaign.  Also, the New York Times has covered this issue as well, with two editorials on the subject in the past year (1, 2).

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