The ruling by the wage board to implement a 40 hour threshold for overtime wages for farm workers will have a detrimental effect on the agricultural community, farm workers and ultimately our food supply.
The nature of the agriculture community creates a couple of peak periods during the year that require intense work hours. Farm owners will be forced to add additional staff in an already tight labor market and cut worker’s hours while the vast majority of farm workers request to work 70 hour weeks. The labor shortage impacting every economic business sector creates an atmosphere where people can choose where they want to
work, how much they want to work and to a certain extent how much they want to be paid.
New York agriculture will be at a considerable disadvantage with nearby states so it makes sense for wage and hour policy determinations to be set on a broader scale, versus being set at the state level. The decision in New York State will hurt our farms, our farm workers, agri-businesses and our rural economy.
The north country economy depends largely on the agriculture industry and we should avoid placing agriculture at a disadvantage both nationally and globally.