skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

4 dead as severe storms hit Houston, TX; Election Protection Program eases access to voting information; surge in solar installations eases energy costs for Missourians; IN makes a splash for Safe Boating Week.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court rules funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is okay, election deniers hold key voting oversight positions in swing states, and North Carolina lawmakers vote to ban people from wearing masks in public.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

Farm Labor: The Forgotten “Essential Workers”

play audio
Play

Wednesday, May 13, 2020   

NEW YORK -- Undocumented New York farm workers may be risking their lives and livelihoods during the COVID pandemic, but they get few federal or state protections.

On April 8, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala became the first New York farm worker known to die from COVID-19. Emma Kreyche, director of advocacy, outreach and education for the Worker Justice Center of New York, said that although farm laborers are recognized as essential workers, because they are undocumented they have little job security, often live in group settings in rural areas with limited access to health care -- and when they do get sick, they are fearful of seeking medical care.

"The COVID pandemic is really underscoring and highlighting the various systems failures that have played upon this community for many, many years," she said.

While the agricultural industry is getting billions of dollars in federal grants and loans under the stimulus bills, she said, no rules have been created to protect the health of farm workers.

In January, New York's Farm Laborers' Fair Labor Practices Act went into effect, extending some basic labor rights to farm workers in the state. However, Kreyche noted, the law contains few, if any, protections for farm workers' health or safety.

"We still don't have any clear directives from the state about how employers should be handling issues around isolating workers, ensuring there is a setup for quarantine to be maintained," she said.

Prior to the COVID pandemic, she said, farm work already was among the most hazardous occupations.

Efforts are under way to include undocumented workers in the next federal stimulus package. Kreyche said she believes there's little hope that will happen, but added that the state can take steps to help ensure that vulnerable farm workers receive some of the protections given to others, "having enforceable health and safety regulations pertaining to agricultural operations and farm labor camps where workers are housed."

She said it's also imperative that state lawmakers create a source of support for those who cannot apply for or qualify for unemployment insurance.

More information is online at wjcny.org.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
About 7.4 million adults take insulin, a hormone regulating glucose and used to treat diabetes patients. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

More than 1 million people in North Carolina are diabetic and they have become increasingly worried about the national shortage of insulin. The …


Environment

play sound

Missouri homes and businesses have installed enough solar energy to power 68,000 homes each year. A new report released by the Solar Energy …

Social Issues

play sound

Workforce watchers project the country could face critical worker shortages in many of the skilled trades in coming years. The Nebraska Winnebago …


If power grid operators cannot change the interconnection process in time, data show around 80% of the emissions reductions expected from the Inflation Reduction Act might not happen. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

A new rule from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could improve Virginia's electric grid transmission capacity. It requires utilities and …

Social Issues

play sound

Surrounded by states banning nearly all abortions, its legalization in New Mexico has made the state a top place to travel for the procedure and a …

As we near summer, tens of millions of Americans will take to our nation's waters to spend time with family and friends. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Hoosiers are launching their boats to enjoy another season on the water. However, before jumping aboard, now is an ideal time to review safety plans …

Social Issues

play sound

This week, Ohio approved adult-use marijuana sales as part of a 2023 ballot measure, with sales anticipated to start mid-June. Ohioans age 21 and …

Social Issues

play sound

The Nevada state primary is coming up June 11 and one voting-rights group wants to make sure all Nevadans have the information they need to make their…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021