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Court rules for farm workers' rights

May 24, 2019 12:51 am
Mallory Moench and Diego Mendoza-Moyers report in the Albany Times Union that a state appeals court ruled May 23 that farm workers in New York have the right to organize and collectively bargain. The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court ruled 4-1 that excluding farm workers from state labor law is unconstitutional. But the New York Farm Bureau, "fully intends to appeal the court's ill-conceived ruling," according to president Steve Fisher. A provision in the State Employment Relations Act has been in place since the 1930s, and the plaintiffs in this case argued that not letting farm workers form unions was a way to discriminate against black workers during the Jim Crow era. The Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act, which would give farm workers additional rights, has not been taken up in Albany for years, but has had three hearings this session. Read more about this story in the Albany Times Union.