Submitted photo and press release:
Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) met with supporters at a rally in Albany Wednesday organized by the New York Farm Bureau and Grow-NY regarding the dangers of allowing farm workers to unionize.
Hawley, the former owner and operator of Hawley Farms in Batavia, is a longtime member of the Assembly Agriculture Committee and has been outspoken on the damaging effects labor regulations would have on the family farming industry.
“I was proud to stand with dedicated farmers, activists and producers yesterday in Albany as we push back against labor regulations being advanced by New York City politicians,” Hawley said.
“Our family farms are already struggling under suffocating minimum-wage mandates and low commodity prices, and to regulate an industry, which thrives off the necessity to operate unique hours at different times would be devastating.”
Net farm income is down 50 percent from just a few years ago and farmers have little to no control over the prices they receive for what they produce, unlike most manufacturers who can set their own prices.
According to a 2019 report from Farm Credit East, mandatory overtime would increase labor costs on farms by almost $300 million and decrease net farm income by almost 25 percent.
“We know what works best for our family farms and that is the ability to regulate their own labor to produce the best results. I will continue to stand in the way of harmful farm mandates as session nears its end next week,” Hawley concluded.
Photo: Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) meets with Maureen Torrey and Shelley Stein, on left, from Grow-NY at Wednesday’s New York Farm Bureau Rally in Albany.