Albany, NY, Mar 03, 2010 — Senator Darrel Aubertine says he believes a farmworker rights' bill can pass the Senate. But the North Country Democrat says it has to protect farmworkers, farmers, and consumers. Martha Foley has more.
Aubertine's comments come on the heels of accusations that he held a hearing on the bill to stall its progress in Albany. The New York Daily News called Monday's agriculture committee hearing "a Moscow show trial". Aubertine, a farmer from Cape Vincent, chairs the committee.
The bill would require farmers to pay their workers overtime and gives them at least one day off a week. Aubertine and other Upstate lawmakers say it would push some farmers out of business. Aubertine says the bill could actually hurt Hispanic farmworkers in particular, many of whom prefer to work 60 hours a week.
The fact of the matter is farmers will look to bring more employees in to give less overtime, which'll force farmworkers out of New York State trying to get more hours.