Human Rights Radio

Episode 2 – Farm Labor in the Hudson Valley (58 mins.)

*This program originally aired on Robin Hood Radio on Friday, March 28, 2014*

(image credit: the Worker Justice Center of New York)


Led by Adelphi University Assistant Professor Margaret Gray, The Hudson Valley Farmworker Report is the first in-depth study of the state’s farmworkers in 30 years. Based on interviews conducted in 2002 by the Bard College Migrant Labor Project, the report presents compelling and rich demographic data of an understudied population.

Published in 2013, Professor Gray’s Labor and the Locavore clearly shows how the currency of agrarian values in the Hudson Valley serves to mask the labor concerns of an already hidden workforce. With an analysis that can be applied to local food concerns around the country, this book challenges the reader to consider how the mentality of the alternative food movements implies a comprehensive food ethic that addresses workers’ concerns.

Summary of New York State Labor Laws Relating to Farm and Food Processing Employment. This document outlines the rights and obligations of employers and employees in Farm and Food Processing industries in New York State.

Passed by Congress in 1935, The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) guarantees basic rights of private sector employees to organize into trade unions, engage in collective bargaining for better terms and conditions at work, and take collective action including strike if necessary. However, the NLRA specifically excludes agricultural laborers from its definition of employees, therefore denying them these rights. To see this exemption for yourself see Definition 3.




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