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Capitol Pressroom Interview: “Farmer Concerns”

Listen to the full interview –> here.

New York Farm Bureau’s Steve Ammerman and the NYS Vegetable Growers’ Rick Zimmerman joined Susan Arbetter on July 9 to discuss fundamental flaws with the Farm Labor bill. The bill was passed at the end of session by both the Senate and Assembly. They discussed serious concerns both farmers and farmworkers have in regard to the legislation, which can and should be addressed before it is signed into law. These flaws include:

  • A requirement that wages paid on the seventh consecutive day of work – are based on an overtime rate – if a farmworker waives their right to a day of rest;
  • The definition of family, which fails to recognize the role of close relatives such as aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins – and would make their participation in farm activities subject to the new statute;
  • The creation of a wage board that lacks New York’s key agency expert on agricultural issues – the Department of Agriculture & Markets Commissioner; and
  • Elections involving the ability to form a union, which lack the integrity of a secret ballot.
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