State farmworker bill reintroduced

The Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act was reintroduced in the state Senate’s labor committee last month, according to information from the Justice for Farmworkers campaign.

Sen. George Onorato, chairman of the labor committee, revived the bill, which had been defeated in the Senate’s agricultural committee earlier this spring. In January, the labor committee had voted in favor of the bill and referred it to the codes committee as procedure. But it was sent to the agriculture committee upon a request from the committee’s chairman, Sen. Darrell Auburtine.

Justice for Farmworkers advocates held a rally in support of the legislation in Buffalo last month and continued with a weeklong series of rallies in Albany this month that culminated with a multifaith gathering of supporters for Farmworker Albany Day on June 15.

The proposed legislation would provide farmworkers with the same labor protections that other workers in the state receive, including overtime pay, a day of rest and the right to collective bargaining.

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