Advocates Demand Farm Worker Regulations

May 21, 2012

Farm workers and Religious Leaders joined with Community and Civil Rights Advocates to urge state lawmakers in Albany to enact the Farm Workers Fair Labor Practices Act - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Young adult farm workers vocalized their cause via chanting and demonstrating in West Capitol Park: inside the halls of state government, the advocates and activists got down to brass tacks - New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman says they are calling on legislators to "correct an 80-year old wrong" - an estimated 78 per cent of New York's 100-thousand  farmworkers are Latino - The bill is similar to one enacted in 2010 that gave domestic workers fundamental labor rights and protections.

The bill routinely dies in the senate - advocates hope this year will be different -Reverend Richard Witt journeyed to Albany on behalf of the Sullivan County duck workers his Poughkeepsie-based ministry has worked with for more than 20 years... Witt adds that passing the bill is "a matter of basic human rights and dignity." The New York Farm Bureau has opposed the measure year after year. An agency spokesperson was not available for comment.