Farmworker labor debate continues

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York state lawmakers will hold hearings on a proposal to repeal an 80-year-old law that prevents farmworkers in the state from unionizing.

The Democrat-led state Senate is expected to take testimony from farmworkers, farm owners and labor and economics experts during three hearings around the state, beginning Thursday in central New York.

The topic is the Farmworker Fair Labor Practice Act, which would grant farmworkers the right to organize to demand better pay or conditions.

The measure has long languished on the legislative agenda, but supporters are more hopeful now that Democrats control both legislative chambers.

Farmworkers say they deserve the same right to unionize as other workers, but opponents say family farms can't afford the higher wages and potential strikes that could result.

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