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Hawley wants Assembly hearings on impact on farmworker unionization

Posted 20 May 2019 at 5:00 pm

Press Release, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley

Following increasing pressure from downstate lawmakers to overturn an 80-year law and allow farmworkers to unionize, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is again calling for statewide public hearings to be conducted by the Assembly before any vote is proposed to make such a sweeping change to one of New York’s largest industries.

“Growing up as a generational farmer in Western New York and eventually owning and operating our family farm, I am confident that unionization would harm our industry and force more family-owned operations to close,” Hawley said. “Farming is unique in its demands, its work schedule, its earnings structure and its labor needs, and to impose blanket requirements to make it congruent with other industries simply may not work in the agricultural model.”

Hawley, a longtime member of the Assembly’s Agriculture Committee, has been in conversations with Chairwoman Donna Lupardo (D-Binghamton) to hold public hearings for several weeks.

“I suspect that the New York City lawmakers pushing this legislation have very little experience on a farm and we need statewide hearings to ensure that current farmers, their employees and members of the agriculture community are heard before any decisions are made,” said Hawley, former owner/operator of Hawley Farms.

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