Agricultural workers in Colorado could soon get minimum wage and overtime – The Denver Post

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Colorado’s agriculture staff quickly might get minimal wage And further time and be a part of labor unions beneath a contentious invoice that made it by way of the Colorado legislature Tuesday.

SB21-087 takes parts of completely different states’ legal guidelines in an Try and reinforce circumstances for Colorado’s agricultural staff. Democratic invoice sponsors say ag staff do grueling work all by way of prolonged days however Aren’t pretty compensated or have recourse in the direction of retaliation.

But opponents of the invoice say It is going to Discover your self harming the state’s $41 invoiceion agriculture enterprise.

A pair of of The exact particulars associated to further time and pay Shall be Found out in a rulemaking course of with the state Division of Labor and Employment, a transfer that sponsors said they made in response to a request from People who work in agriculture.

General, the invoice places agriculture staff on “extra equal footing” with staff in completely different industries, Democratic sponsor Rep. Karen McCormick of Longmont said.

“They now have A safety internet that wasn’t tright here earlier than,” McCormick informed The Post. “They’ve The power To return forward all by way of this further time rulemaking course of To converse to The Want to worth their work Similar to we worth … anyone’s work.” Plus, she said, It will make Colorado extra aggressive and make agricultural staff Want To return right here.

Republican lawmakers, however, argued that Democrats who wrote the invoice don’t understand how the ag enterprise works and that it’ll Discover your self harming ranchers and farmers who Will be unable to afford The further prices.

“We now have staff Get back yr after yr after yr not as a Outcome of they’re abused,” GOP Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, a Sterling rancher, said on the Senate flooring, “however as a Outcome of they love the work they do and are Proud of the work that they’re employed in.”

Dan Waldvogle of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union said the group is glad for A lot of the modifications to the invoice — They typically assist issues Simply like the minimal wage for staff — that make it greater. But he nonetheless believes tright here Shall be an influence to the enterprise, fewer jobs, extra agency administration and a transfer to mechanically harvested crops.

“What we hoped for was a extra holistic strategy to the meals system,” he said, focusing past The staff To inagency consumers, retailers and course ofors.

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