***Editors Note: Letter Attached***
Yesterday, Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello (R,C,I,Ref-Niagara Falls) signed a letter opposing a farm labor bill (A.2750) proposed by the Assembly Majority. Referred to as the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act, this bill would hurt our already struggling dairy and agriculture industry and destroy a system that was intended to benefit farmers and their workforce. Similar legislation has been proposed in past years, but with one-house control in state government, many fear it will soon become law.
Its truly unfortunate that downstate members are attempting to pass legislation affecting farmers when many of them have few or no farms in their district, said Morinello. Farming is a business unlike any other, and due to its nature, we already have legislation ensuring farmers and their employees are treated fairly. During their time on a farm, they receive a living wage along with food, medical, transportation and housing, but with such short harvest seasons, most farm workers are constantly moving to other states and even other countries.
This bill proposed by members of the majority would interfere with a system thats helped provide food for New Yorkers and many across the country. Before passing any legislation, its imperative we learn more about the impact it could have on the farming industry. Our conference is requesting additional hearings in Western New York, and areas with an abundance of farms, to help gain a better understanding of how farms operate.