Cape Vincent, NY, Mar 16, 2010 — The New York State Senate is considering a controversial measure that would give more legal rights to New York farm workers. The bill would allow farm laborers to unionize more easily. It would also guarantee workers at least one day of rest each week and provide for overtime pay.
The bill has strong backing from a variety of labor, immigrant and religious groups, including New York's State Catholic Conference. But the bill is broadly panned in upstate agricultural areas. It's vehemently opposed by the New York Farm Bureau, which says it would quote --cripple -- New York agriculture. Upstate lawmakers from both parties are against it.
Opposition in the state Senate is led by Darrel Aubertine, a Democrat from a long line of Jefferson County dairy farmers. He made his case yesterday on The Capitol Pressroom, a daily program produced by public radio station WCNY. Martha Foley has more.