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Farm Workers Join Catholic Charities in March for Justice

Posted on May 23, 2016 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

No Drinking Water; No Bathrooms. Time to Say "No More"


Cardinal Dolan, Msgr.Sullivan & Catholic Charities Join Farmer's March

After 60 miles slogging under sun, wind and rain with another 140 miles to go, farm workers refreshed themselves at a luncheon hosted by Catholic Charities at Immaculate Conception St. Mary’s Church in Yonkers yesterday, May 22, before continuing their march to Albany for justice.

“Farm workers in New York are excluded from basic protections such as the right to collective organizing, overtime pay, and a day of rest,” said Beatriz Diaz Taveras, Executive Director of Catholic Charities Community Services. “Too many still face indignities, such as a lack of bathrooms and clean drinking water in the fields.”

Nearly 47,000 workers, many temporary laborers from South and Central America, work under these conditions for 60 – 70 hours per week.

Agriculture is a multibillion-dollar economy in New York State.  Yet farm workers earn on average less than $22,000 per year.  So while growing food for New Yorkers, they do not earn enough to feed their own families.

To raise awareness and press Albany legislators to pass the long-debated Farm Worker Fair Labor Practices Act, farm workers and their supporters are trekking 200 miles through farmland, suburbs and city streets. Racking up 15 miles in over 17 days, they kicked off in Long Island on May 15 and plan to finish in Albany by June 1.

Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan and a host of fellow supporters joined the marchers when they crossed into the New York Archdiocese on May 21. They also helped mail 500 postcards penned by Catholic young adults and students supporting the legislation.  And a number of supporters from Catholic Charities, churches and nearly 30 similar organizations continued with the march this weekend through Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill, Yonkers and into the Hudson Valley.

“Agricultural workers who every day put food on our tables have waited too long,” Cardinal Dolan said.  “This is a matter of justice and dignity,””

Check out their route to join the farm workers’s march or lend your support.

For more information contact Luz Tavarez at luz.tavarez-salazar@archny.org

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