1.Equal Rights for Farmworker in New York State

AUGUST 4-8, 2008


1.Equal Rights for Farmworker in New York State

Whereas, Jim Crow-era racism led to the exclusion of farmworkers from the protections and rights afforded other workers since the 1930's, leaving the burden of fair treatment to the states; and

Whereas, Cesar Chavez and the farmworker movement established the unequivocal right of argicultural workers to collective bargaining more than a generation ago and that right is firmly established in the minds of American workers, and

Whereas, New York State has failed to establish those rights enjoyed by farmworkers in other parts of the U.S. and to the contrary, exempts "service on a farm" from the definition of what constitutes an "employee;" and

Whereas, New York State has addressed some of the problems facing New York farmworkers in recent years by granting farmworkers a minimum wage and providing drinking water in the fields it has yet to go the full distance of treating farmworkers as equal employees and has not addressed the overall exclusion of farmworkers from protections afforded other employees; and

Whereas, farmworkers, a majority of whom were once African American, and a current majority of whom are Latin American, should be afforded the same dignity and respect as all other workers; and

Whereas, LCLAA advocates protection of the labor rights of all workers, regardless of their places of origin or immigration status and organizes to build power among Latino workers; and

Whereas, legislation has been introduced in the New York State Legislature that would address needs of the farmworkers by establishing collective bargaining rights, providing for at least 24 consecutive hours of rest each week, establishing overtime protections, applying the Sanitary Code to all housing, and equalizing coverage for unemployment compensation. This legislation would also amend the Workers Compensation Law by removing the exclusion of farmworkers from state disability coverage; therefore be it

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that LCLAA will fully and actively support the passage of New York State legislation leading to equal rights for farmworkers; and be it further

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that LCLAA will educate its allies about this important issue of labor rights and racial equality.

Respectfully submitted,
Albany/Capital District Chapter
New York City Chapter

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