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Greene County lawmakers united against lowering farmworker overtime threshold

Feb 21, 2022 12:45 am

Ted Remsnyder is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Greene County Legislature has declared its opposition to a plan by the State Farm Laborers Wage Board to lower the overtime threshold for farmworkers from 60 to 40 hours, the same as most other workers in New York. New York Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon will make the ultimate ruling on the issue in the coming months. Until that decision is made, however, the county Legislature is hoping to put pressure on elected officials to maintain the 60-hour overtime threshold. The resolution lawmakers approved on February 16, reads the legislature, “Emphatically opposes any decrease to the 60-hour farmworker overtime threshold proposed by the Farm Laborers Wage Board.” Legislature Vice Chair Matt Luvera, a Republican who represents Catskill. said, “...This overtime threshold would just be another burden with more government regulations. It’s going to increase costs to farmers, who already operate under tight budgets, and still continue to give back to the community. We felt we needed to oppose this latest mandate.” Republican Michael Bulich, who also represents Catskill, owns and operates the Bulich Mushroom Farm. He said that farm workers should not be paid the same way as grocery workers, because it will cost him money. “The economic reality that farms face, whether they’re in Greene County or anywhere across the state, is that labor is the biggest cost to anything,” Bulich said. He abstained from the vote. After passage, the resolution was sent to Gov. Kathy Hochul, state Sen. Michelle Hinchey, and Assemblymember Chris Tague, among other state officials. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.