Farmworkers urge NY lawmakers to allow them to unionize


New York’s top labor official says Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo will work to pass a bill allowing farmworkers to unionize for better wages and conditions.

State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon discussed her boss’s support for the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act at a rally for the bill Monday in Albany.

She said Cuomo will work with lawmakers to get the bill passed.

Along with extending collective bargaining rights, the measure would guarantee disability benefits and overtime pay.

Farmworkers say they deserve the same rights as other workers but farm owners warn of strikes and say higher labor costs could force some farms to close.

Supporters want lawmakers to vote before the legislative session ends next month. The bill has failed before but supporters are optimistic because Democrats now control the full Legislature.

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