BOSTON (WWLP) – A bill before the state legislature that is currently working its way through the Boston Statehouse would give farmers and agricultural workers access to fair wages and paid sick time.
Currently, agricultural workers in Massachusetts earn just eight dollars an hour and are also asked to work all seasons with no required days off. This fairness bill would establish a framework where farmers receive minimum wage, paid leave and compensation for overtime.
“Twice as many farm worker families now live in severe poverty as compared to other families,” said Claudia Quintero an attorney for migrant and season farm workers.
While many of the people who testified in front of the committee on this bill spoke favorably about it – local farms argued that it could put them out of business. Opponents told committee members that the bill would increase the cost of their products, and the financial ramifications could be felt by consumers all across the state.