On Monday, March 14, Farm Bureau is urging everyone to call their legislators in Albany and let them know that increasing the minimum wage to $15 is bad for New York.
We are asking everyone, whether in agriculture or not, to take a good hard look at what this increase will do to our local businesses and the people already making more than minimum wage and make those calls to Albany on Monday.
We need to overwhelm the phone system in our state’s capital.
Here are some facts to help you understand why this act is so bad for New York:
• Farm and Small Business labor costs will immediately go up 67 percent%.
• Agricultural businesses do not set their prices they are nationally or globally market driven and we cannot offset our higher costs by increasing price
• Pennsylvania ($7.25) and neighboring States (all less than $10) will have a significant cost advantage over NY production.
• Our 36,000 farms are labor intensive and will be forced out of business or to spend on automation to replace our 200,000 employees. The automation is mostly foreign produced.
• Many farms and small businesses already pay experienced workers more than $15 hour but Farms also employ a large number of young inexperienced workers who are our State's future. Farms and other small businesses cannot afford to pay non-experienced workers $15/hr while training these workers with new skills. These people will lose many opportunities.
• New York State is the 3rd largest Dairy state in the nation and top 5 in many other commodities. Agriculture is one of the few thriving industries in New York State and will be decimated by this drastic change in costs.
• This is not a Wall Street versus Main Street issue. Wall St. does not pay workers minimum wage, small labor intensive businesses do. This act will not impact the wealthy, it will only hurt small businesses, farms and especially those businesses close to state borders.
Please make that call on Monday!!