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May 11, 2016 - 3:23pm

Ranzenhofer says lawsuit for greater farmworkers' rights will have devastating impact on local jobs and farms

posted by Billie Owens in michael ranzenhofer, NYCLU, farms, business, agriculture.

Sen. Michael Ranzerhofer today issued a statement about the lawsuit filed Tuesday by the NY Civil Liberties Union seeking improved rights for farmworkers. The Senator says the suit will have a devastating impact on local jobs and farms.

After the lawsuit was filed against Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state in the New York Supreme Court in Albany, the governor made it known that he backed workers' rights and the NYCLU's efforts and that he would not contest the litigation.

Among its aims is to allow farmworkers to unionize and get paid overtime. The NYCLU maintains that existing state law does not provide farmworkers with the protections that other worker groups are afforded. Cuomo noted "inconsistencies" and said workers in any sector should not be exploited.

The increase in the minimum wage approved last month in New York includes farmworkers and the wage will become $12.50 per hour by in end of 2020 in Upstate New York. Farms are expected to get a $30 million subsidy to accommodate the wage increase.

Ranzenhofer issued the following statement this afternoon:

“The New York Civil Liberties Union is trying to push increased regulations on farm workers through the courts. These burdensome regulations would force local farms to eliminate jobs and potentially go out of business. Whether it is New York City politicians or the NYCLU, they have little to no understanding of the economic realities of the agriculture industry. If the NYCLU wins this lawsuit, then it will have a devastating impact on our family farms and jobs in our rural communities.”

Jeffery White
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Isn't this pretty much moot with the federal change to $50,440 minimum for exempt employees coming along?

Greg Siedlecki
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Before looking for raises, lets make sure that most of the "employees" are documented immigrants. That is likely a bigger issue.

mathew pribek
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No business that requires slave labor to survive deserves to survive.

Ed Hartgrove
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I think Senator Ranzerhofer misspoke, when he said the NYCU was pushing "increased regulations on farm workers"

The increased regulations is being pushed on the farm owners, not the workers.

Ed Hartgrove
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Oh yeah, I forgot. Just one more case of NY slipping further down the toilet bowl.

SLURP, GURGLE, GURGLE, PLOP!!

Scott Chismar
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More mindless dribble from Ranzenhofer. You never know who will win the contest for the most ridiculous positions, Ranzenhofer or Hawley. They both love their press releases, yet get absolutely nothing done in Albany. Instead of both of them trying to quash worker protections, how about they forfeit a few tax payer funded paychecks based on their lack of productivity.

Scott Ogle
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"More mindless dribble from Ranzenhofer."

Drivel! It's mindless drivel! He can't help the way he eats!

C. M. Barons
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Back in the 1970s there were boycotts of grapes and lettuce to show support for the farmworkers seeking better pay, working conditions and respect for their organization. 45 years later Republican politicians make a case to deprive farmworkers of labor rights open to all other workers. Truth-be-told, the critical issue for farmers is not the cost of labor; it's their (lack of) share in profits, the price-fixing, the commodities market, the price supports and the influx of foreign produce. Come on Katzenjammer! You're a lawyer. Figure out a fix that doesn't screw the farmer and the farmworker.

Daniel Jones
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There really isn't a group of people much more maligned, necessary and needlessly kicked around than the farmworkers. Saying that overtime wages for workers who in many cases already have living expenses deducted from their pay will "devestate" farms without so much as providing even a single page document of backup data is pathetic, especially given that having an increased ability for them to go out and buy things will be a major boost to local businesses. Country club jerks like Ranzenhofer, who has spent over two decades living high off the hog on taxpayer dollars, should get a clue on economics and learn some empathy for those who can't get paid a full time salary to "work" six months per year lobbing softballs at their colleagues on the Senate floor. I put quotes around "work" because he still spends an inordinate amount of time in court as a lawyer, he takes his job in the Senate about as seriously as Willie Nelson does paying his taxes. He is an embarrassment. He is a lazy sloth and an arrogant leech.

Daniel Jones
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C.M. - I love the 'Katzenjammer' nickname, I prefer Darth Ranzenvader.

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