Statement of New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento on Farm Laborers Wage Board Recommendation
“Today, the Farm Laborers Wage Board voted to advance their final report recommending a phased-in overtime plan that will create equity and equality for farmworkers.
“This important and long overdue action means farmworkers in New York State are now a step closer to being fairly compensated for the essential and often physically grueling work they do.
“The New York State AFL-CIO has fought alongside farmworkers for more than 20 years to reach this goal. The phased-in overtime threshold will get these dedicated workers to the same 40-hour standard for overtime as other workers.
“We have said from the very beginning that this is an achievable goal. It is important to note that farm owners will get direct support from the new refundable tax credit enacted in the state budget which will cover the overtime differential paid to workers, plus associated increased costs, dollar-for-dollar.
“Now, we call on the Commissioner of Labor to adopt the recommendation and report so that farmworkers can be treated the same as other workers.
“We thank members of the Wage Board for all their hard work, in particular, former President of the New York State AFL-CIO Denis Hughes who brought the union movement into this fight. Most importantly, we thank the farmworkers for their courage and perseverance. They are an inspiration to all of us.”