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Ortt: Farm labor bill will hurt NY agriculture

Staff Reports Posted 18 July 2019 at 8:35 am

Press Release, State Sen. Rob Ortt

State Sen. Robert Ortt issued this statement after Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday signed the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act, which takes effect on Jan. 1.

The legislation grants collective bargaining rights to farm laborers; requires employers of farm laborers to allow at least 24 consecutive hours of rest each week; provides for 60-hour work week for farm workers with the overtime rate at one and one-half times the normal rate

“Today’s signing of the Farmworker Labor Act marks the end of local and family farming as we currently know it in New York State,” Ortt said. “Instead of choosing to sign the Farmworker Labor Act in a rural upstate community, Gov. Cuomo chose a Manhattan newsroom as his backdrop, surrounded by legislators from Manhattan and Queens.

“If this legislation was so beneficial to those in the farming community, Gov. Cuomo and the bill’s sponsors should have had the courage to sign this legislation on a farm upstate. The fact they could not find a farm to host them speaks volumes. Not only will these new regulations drive hundreds of small, family-owned farms out of business, but they will also drive jobs and hard-working employees out of our state. With New York State farm closure rates already triple the national average, support of these overbearing and industry-killing regulations by New York Democrats further displays their disconnect from the upstate communities tasked with feeding their regressive New York City base.”

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