News4 WIVB-TV: Agriculture community fights to ensure fairness for farmworkers and rights to unionize
Visit News4 WIVB online to watch the story. *** Leaders in the agriculture community say…
“The Grow NY Farms Coalition is disappointed that minimum wage will continue to increase, driving our family farms to consider their future here in New York State. Family farms, industry leaders, and the business community at large have continuously shared concerns, data, and polling with lawmakers on the need to pause the minimum wage at $15. This includes ongoing inflation, labor shortages, supply chain issues, and the unique economic challenges faced by New York’s diverse agriculture industry – all of which must be addressed in any labor mandate that looks to exacerbate these difficulties.
A higher minimum wage will not improve efforts to attract workers to New York farms, nor will it fix inflation. In fact, it will fan the flame of inflation and exacerbate the financial woes felt by our farmers, small businesses, rural communities, and families across the state. This will prevent businesses from reinvesting in New York and eliminate the very jobs these workers depend on to support their families.
As New York’s agriculture industry prepares for rising overtime costs, farms are now facing additional mandates that may very well continue the trend we’ve seen in recent years – farms closing their doors and leaving the Empire State altogether. We cannot afford the food miles and climate change implications, nor the detrimental impact of losing farms in our rural communities if this trend continues.
We urge our elected officials to engage with, learn from, and better understand the state’s diverse agriculture industry so that policy and mindset changes can be made to prioritize New York’s food security and the viability of local farms. Food banks, school districts, and the future of our industry depend on it.”