Justice for NY State Farmworkers


A project of BCJN’s Food Justice Working Group


BCJN members distribute the following flyer at Bronx farmers markets and CSA’s (Community-Supported Agriculture):


Dear NYC Farmers Market and/or CSA customer:

As you enjoy the pleasures of healthy produce from New York State farms, please learn about and take action for the farmworkers whose labor puts beautiful fruits and vegetables on your family’s table.

A few facts you may not know:

NY farmworkers are the backbone of the state’s multi-billion dollar agricultural industry, but are excluded from basic labor protections granted to other workers under state and federal law. For our farmworkers, there is:

NO Day of Rest                  NO Overtime Pay                   NO Collective Bargaining

These exclusions leave farmworkers powerless, vulnerable, and ripe for exploitation. Because many NY state farmworkers, including many on small- and medium-sized farms in the Hudson Valley, are Latin American migrants here on visas sponsored by their employers, they are reluctant to ask for better treatment.

Concerned about your grocery bill? Don’t be. If the cost of ensuring fair wages and benefits for workers were passed on to consumers, the average household’s grocery bill would increase by about $10 per year.

Take a stand for farmworkers:  

  1. Urge your state Assemblyperson and Senator to co-sponsor and actively support S. 2721/A. 4189, the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act.

The bill would establish an 8-hour workday; provide overtime pay of at least time-and-a-half after 8 hours of work; allow one day of rest per week; grant the right to organize & bargain collectively; ensure that housing facilities meet basic standards including structurally safe buildings, clean water, adequate light & ventilation, and facilities for sewage disposal; require employers to provide compensation benefits to injured workers; require supervisors who learn that a farmworker is injured on the job to inform the farm owner; and more.

  1. Talk to the farmers at your Farmers Market and CSA: Inquire about their workers and their working and living conditions. Ask farm owners to support S. 2721/A. 4189.
  1. Join the Food Justice Working Group of Bronx Climate Justice North. For more info, email: bronxclimatejusticenorth@gmail.com.

Thank you on behalf of NY farmworkers! Si se puede!


Related links:

See the BCJN post, “The Worm in the Empire Apple” in the Rural & Migrant Ministry blog Witness, 5/25/15, and “Fair Treatment for Farmworkers,” in The Riverdale Press, 6/11/15.

For a superb book on the living and working conditions of farmworkers and their families on small- and medium-sized farms in the Hudson Valley, please read Margaret Gray’s 2013 work, Labor and the Locavore: The Making of a Comprehensive Food Ethic.



Members of the Justice for Farmworkers Campaign

Kerry Kennedy, Founder, Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights

Rev. Richard Witt, Executive Director of the Rural & Migrant Ministry

New York City Civil Liberties Union

Worker Justice Center

Labor-Religion Coalition of NY State

New York State AFL-CIO

New York State United Teachers AFT AFL-CIO

AFGE Local 2313, NCFLL

Association of Farmworkers Legal Services Employees NOLSW, LOCAL 2320

Capital District Area Federations

Capital District Labor-Religion Coalition

Domestic Workers United

National Association of Social Workers

Finger Lake Central Labor Council

Greater Syracuse Labor Council, AFL-CIO

Worker Justice Center for NY, Albany

UNITE HERE (Union of Needle Trades, Industrial and Textile Employees)

United Food And Commercial Workers

Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation Upper Hudson Central Labor Council

1199 SEIU

CSEA Local 265

CSEA Local 828, Rochester

Hilton Central Schools Teacher Association

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Local 2741

New York State United Teachers, Western Regional Office

Newark Teachers Association

Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 212

District Council #4 Painters and Allied Trades International Union

Peace & Disarmament Committee, Local 199, C.A.W.

Rochester Labor Council

Service Employees International Union Local 200 United

Spencerport Teacher’s Association

Teamsters Local 118, Rochester

The American Postal Workers Union Local 215, AFL-CIO

United Auto Workers 686 Niagara County

United Auto Workers 1097 Rochester

United Mine Workers of America Local 717

United Steel Workers of American Local 1000

United Steel Workers of America Local 9265, Latham

Wheatland-Chili Federation of Teachers

Civil Service Employees Association, Inc., Latham

National Association of Letter Carriers Br. 210

New York State Public Employment Federation Division 283

Rochester Teachers Association, NYSUT-AFT

United Steelworkers of America Local 1277, Syracuse

National Association of Letter Carriers Br. 210

Western New York Regional Office of the New York State United Teachers

Olean Area Labor-Religion Coalition

Painters District Council #4

Peace and Disarmament Committee Local 199 CAW

PEF Division 283

Rochester Teachers Association, NYSUT-AFT

Teamsters Local 118, Rochester

American Postal Workers Union, Rochester Local 215

UAW 686 Niagara County

UNITE Rochester Regional Joint Board

United Food and Commercial Workers Local One

Upper Hudson Valley Central Labor Council

United Presbytarian Church of Downtown Rochester

American Baptist of New York State

New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

New York State Catholic Conference

New York State Conference of the United Church of Christ

Albany and Hudson Presbyteries

Mid-Hudson/Union Association of American Baptists

Catholic Charities of Montgomery and Fulton County

The Episcopal Diocese of NY

The Episcopal Diocese of Rochester

Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Adult Education Class at Nativity Parish, Brockport

Brockport Ecunemenical Outreach Committee

Capital Region Ecumenical Organization

Calvary Presbyterian Church in Newburgh

Christ Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie

Christ Episcopal Church, Redhook

Church of the Holy Apostles, NYC

Church of the Holy Communion, Mahopac

Church Women United, Buffalo

Cornwall Presbyterian Church

Episcopal Church of the Misseah, Rhinebeck

Episcopal Church of the Regeneration, Pine Plains

First Baptist Church of White Plains

First Presbyterian Church, Goshen

First Presbyterian Church, Kathonah

First Presbyterian Church, Pleasant Valley

First Presbyterian Church, Poughkeepsie

First Presbyterian Church, Seneca Falls

First Presbyterian Church, Wappingers Falls

First Unitarian Church of Rochester Social Responsibility Council

Freedom Plains Presbyterian Church, Poughkeepsie

Gilead Presbrytarial Church, Carmel

Grace Episcopal Church, Middletown

Grace Episcopal Church, Millbrook

Grace Episcopal Church, Port Jervis

Greater Rochester Community of Churches

Hitchcock Presbyterian Church, Scarsdale

Holy Cross Church, Dewitt

The House of Mercy, Rochester

Housing, Hunger and Homelessness Task Force,Rochester

Huguenot Presbyterian Church, Pelham

Justice Strategy Team DUPC

Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn

Renew Group of Nativity BVM, Brockport

San Andres Episcopal Church, Yonkers

Sauquoit Valley United Methodist Church

Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy

Sister of St. Joseph, Albany Province Assembly

Sister of St. Joseph, Buffalo

Sister of St. Joseph, Rochester

Catholic Community of Saint Henry

Spiritus Christi Church of Rochester

Saint John the Evangelist Church

St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality

Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, South Fallsburgh

St. Francis Xavier Peace and Justice Committee, NYC

St. James Episcopal Church, Goshen

St. James Episcopal Church, Hyde Park

St. James Episcopal Church, Getty Square Yonkers

St. John’s Church (Getty Square), Yonkers, NY

New York State Conference of the United Church of Christ

New York Annual Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

Synod of New York, Reformed Church of America

Buddhist Peace Fellowship

Catholic Charities of Montgomery County

Catholic Charities, Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany

Catholic Daughters of America Court #931

Catholic Family Center, Office of Social Policy, Rochester

Church, Society and Mission Team of First United Methodist

Church, Schenectady

Episcopal Church of the Intercession, NYC

Episcopal Church, Province II, New York State Public Policy


First Presbyterian Church of Ossining

Franciscans of Stella Niagara

Hudson River Presbytery

Interfaith Alliance of Rochester

Interfaith Impact of New York State

New Hackensack Reformed Church, Wappingers Falls

New York Annual Conference of United Methodists Task Force on


New York Catholic Conference

Pax Christi of Western New York

Presbytery of Albany

Public Policy Committee of the Roman Catholic Diocese of


Riverside Salem United Church of Christ, Grant Island

Christ Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie

University of Rochester, Catholic Newman Community

Christ United Methodist Church, Beacon

United Methodist Church of Fishkill

The Zen Center, Rochester

Episcopal Church of Christ the King, Stone Ridge

The Martha Ministry of Nativity Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Brockport

The First Baptist Church of White Plains

St. Thomas Episcopal Church, New Windsor

St. Paul’s Universalist Church of Little Falls

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Yonkers

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Pleasant Valley

St. Paul the Apostle, Social Awareness Forum, Schenectady

St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Staatsburg

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Fairport

St. Joseph University Church, Buffalo

St. John’s Episcopal Church, Ellenville

St. John’s Episcopal Church, Monticello

St. John’s Episcopal Church, Kingston

St. John’s Church, Utica

Americans United for the Separation of Church & State

BOCES Geneseo Migrant Center, Mt. Morris

Cayuga/Seneca Community Action Agency Inc.

Center for Dispute Settlement, Rochester

Coalition of Immokalee Workers

Council of Canadians, Niagara Chapter

Ciudad Hermana Task Force of MetroJustice

Dutchess Peace Coalition

Education for Peace, Inc.

Federation of Monroe County Environmentalists

Fellowship of Reconciliation, Racism and

Economic Justice Program, Hudson Valley Ch.

Food Not Bombs, Poughkeepsie

Genesee Valley American Civil Liberties Union

Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace

Green Party of Monroe County

Green Party of Erie County

Hispanic Outreach Services of Amsterdam

Judicial Process Commission, Rochester

Latin American Cultural Association “El Buen Amigo” of Buffalo

Latin Solidarity Committee, Buffalo

Metro Justice of Rochester Inc.

Moving Beyond Racism, Rochester

National Labor Committee, NYC

New York Civil Liberties Union, Capital Region

New York Immigration Coalition

Planned Parenthood of Rochester/Syracuse

Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign

Public Interest Law Office of Rochester

Rochester Committee on Latin America

Rochester Human Rights Day Committee

Rochester Roots

Saratoga Peace Alliance

Sierra Club, Rochester

Steuben County Green Party

The Working Together Group

Tompkins County Workers’ Center

United Nations Association of Rochester

Wayne Action for Racial Equality

Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health

Western New York Peace Center, Buffalo

Amnesty International- SUNY

Amnesty International- University of Rochester

Bard College Fair Labor Organizing Committee

Bard Political Action Organization, Bard College

Catholic Newman Community, U. Rochester

Committee on U.S.-Latin American Relations (Cornell)

Cornell University Organization for Labor Action

The Environmental Collective, Bard College

Friends of Farm Workers, Cornell University

Hunger Action (Vassar College)

Immigrant Farmworker Initiative, Cornell University

National Lawyers Guild, Cornell University

Rondout Valley High School Synthesis/Diversity Club

Student Actions with Farmworkers

Worker Center of Central NY

Food Chain Worker Alliance

Human Rights Watch

B’nai Jeshurun Synagogue

Bronx Climate Justice North

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