Last Thursday, a State Supreme Court justice in Albany heard arguments in a lawsuit challenging New York’s state labor relations law that does not provide farmworkers with the same right to organize that other employees have.

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) filed suit against the state last year.  Gov. Cuomo said that the state would not fight the lawsuit, agreeing with the workers that their rights were being unconstitutionally violated.  The Court granted the New York Farm Bureau permission to intervene in the suit to defend the law.

The Farm Bureau argued that farm work is different from other industries because of its seasonal nature and animals that require constant care. The group said that allowing roughly 60,000 farm workers to unionize would devastate New York farms.

We share the Farm Bureau’s concerns about allowing farmworkers the right to go on strike, which could jeopardize crops or animal welfare.  New York State should not impose new regulatory burdens on our state’s farmers, who are already facing a myriad of challenges in terms of competing with farmers outside of New York State and the United States.