Statement of New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento in conjunction with Albany rally for passage of the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act

Albany – “To be clear, organized labor in the state of New York will not rest until farmworkers are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. It is disgraceful that in the year 2019 farmworkers, who perform demanding and dangerous work, still do not enjoy the same basic rights and protections as all other workers.

Over the past week and a half, at hearings across the state, we have heard fresh testimony about what we already knew: because farmworkers in New York do not have the same protections as other workers, they are uniquely susceptible to exploitation. This must end.

Now is the time to pass the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act. Now is the time to give farmworkers the right to form unions, overtime pay, a true day of rest, sanitary housing, and to put them on par with other workers with respect to workers’ compensation, temporary disability insurance, and the minimum wage.

On behalf of the 2.5 million members of the New York State AFL-CIO, I want to thank the bill sponsors, Senator Jessica Ramos and Assemblymember Cathy Nolan for their unwavering support on this important issue.”

Learn more about Farmworker rights by listening to the NYS AFL-CIO Union Strong podcast.



The New York State AFL-CIO is a federation of 3,000 unions, representing 2.5 million members, retirees and their families with one goal; to raise the standard of living and quality of life of all working people. We keep New York State Union Strong by fighting for better wages, better benefits and better working conditions. For more information on the Labor Movement in New York, visit