The Tompkins County Workersâ€™ Center is hopeful that the political shift within our New York State Senate will enable passage of the long-sought-after Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act (FFLPA)â€”see details of proposed changes below–to actually become law after many years of frustration.
The FFLPA (Senate Bill: S2837/Assembly Bill: A2750) has reached a milestone with 32 co-sponsors in the State Senate and 46 co-sponsors in the State Assembly (including Barbara Lifton of Tompkins/Cortland). Both the NY State Senate Labor and Agricultural Committees are hosting a series of three Senate Hearings across New York State in order to let the populace discuss the Act.
The three hearings will take place in Morrisville in Madison County on April 25th; Suffolk County (Long Island on April 26th; and Loch Sheldrake in Sullivan County (a 90 minute drive from Ithaca) on May 2nd. The TCWC intends to take as many people as are willing to go to the Senate Hearing in Sullivan County on Thursday, May 2nd from 1 to 5 p.m.
Can you come? The time is NOW to make this happen as farmworkers are suffering throughout New York State. We are in the process of figuring out just how weâ€™ll get people to the Sullivan County hearing; car pooling may be one of the better options.
Please be in touch by contacting TCWC Coordinator, Pete Meyers, at firstname.lastname@example.org; 607-339-1680 if youâ€™re interested in either speaking or in simply being in attendance!
If/when passed, the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act would enact the following, which most all OTHER workers are protected by:
- 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 an 8 hour work day for farm laborers;
- requires overtime rate at one and one-half times normal rate;
- makes provisions of unemployment insurance law applicable to farm laborers;
- provides sanitary code shall apply to all farm and food processing labor camps intended to house migrant workers, regardless of the number of occupants;
- provides for eligibility of farm laborers for workers’ compensation benefits;
- requires employers of farm laborers to provide such farm laborers with claim forms for workers’ compensation claims under certain conditions;
- requires reporting of injuries to employers of farmworkers.