On August 26, the Workers’ Center of Central New York rallied outside the New York State Fair calling out the workplace injustices dairy workers in the industry face every day. Often these workers suffer from wage theft, frequent workplace injuries, no access to healthcare, and crowded and substandard housing.
The Workers’ Center of Central New York hopes the really will help support legislation similar to Farm Worker Fair Labor Practices Act, even though the bill was blacked for a vote in the New York state. The bill provides overtime pay, unemployment insurance, and collective bargaining rights for farm workers.
New York is largest producer of Greek yogurt in the country, but the dairy workers who help produce the raw materials lack basic workers rights. Not covered by under the Federal Labor Standards Act, farm workers average 12 hour day with no paid overtime, no day of rest, and no right to form a union.
“All of the other workers, in the 1930s, got those rights. The farm workers were excluded and also domestic workers. If you see the conditions under which the dairy workers and farm workers live today, you can see it’s like they were frozen in time. So that tells us that labor protections are very, very important, “ said Worker Center Organizer Rebecca Fuentes in a local news report.
Photo Courtesy of Central New York Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO