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United Farm Workers President Teresa Romero awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Farmworkers and Allies to Rally Outside Buffalo CourthouseFor Right to Organize

Buffalo, NY – On February 21st, the United Farm Workers will lead a rally outside the U.S. Courthouse in Buffalo, New York in opposition to the grower lobby’s lawsuit intending to strip New York farmworkers of their right to organize. Arguments in that lawsuit (New York State Vegetable Growers Association Inc. v. Hochul) will be heard on that day. At stake is the right of farmworkers in New York to organize and join unions.

Farmworkers are excluded from federal law granting all American workers the right to join unions.  But in 2019, New York expanded unionization rights to farmworkers with the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act (FLFLP), joining California and Hawaii as the only states that provide these rights to farmworkers. Under the terms of this law, the United Farm Workers has won 5 union certifications and filed for 2 more at New York farms, representing both local and H2A and Mexican and Jamaican farmworkers. Since October of 2023, the grower lawsuit against the FLFLP has frozen all enforcement of this law – effectively stripping all New York farmworkers of their right to organize even as the case works its way through the courts.

“There would be no agricultural industry in New York without farmworkers,” said UFW President Teresa Romero. “It is unconscionable that New York growers are attempting to strip those workers of their right to a union – especially after over 500 farmworkers in New York have already exercised that right. The court must dismiss this transparent attempt to dismantle established New York labor law and crush farmworkers’ unionization efforts.”

What: Rally outside U.S. Courthouse in support of farm workers’ right to organize and join labor unions
Who: UFW Secretary Treasurer Armando Elenes, farmworkers with labor and community allies
When: Wednesday, February 21st, 8:00 AM ET
Where: Robert H. Jackson U.S. Courthouse, 2 Niagara Square, Buffalo, New York

To join the rally please sign up here. Press RSVP to