In the 1930s, the passage of New Deal legislation marked the beginning of a new era for workers' rights. One of the groups forgotten by the New Deal was farmworkers. Over seventy years have gone by and New York State farmworkers still lack the rights to a day of rest, overtime pay and the right to bargain collectively - which means they are powerless to ask their employers for what they deserve - equal rights and dignity.
The Justice for Farmworkers Campaign (JFW) was created as a statewide educational and legislative movement aimed at giving farmworkers the same rights that every other New York State worker receives. Over the last fifteen years, RMM has been at the forefront of the Campaign by raising awareness, educating the public about know how they can support farmworkers, and supporting for legislative change through the passage of the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act.
The Legislative Campaign has had some successes, as farmworkers were granted the right to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities in the fields, and the right to the same minimum wage as other workers yet, exclusions still remain. The Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act, a bill currently in the NY State Legislature, would remove these exclusions and grant farmworkers the dignity and equality they deserve.
Senate bill: http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S1291-2015
Assembly bill: http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/A4762-2015
The ability to support oneself and one's family is not a privilege; it is a right. To learn more about the JFW campaign, the history of NYS farmworkers' struggles and how you can get involved, follow the links below or contact us.