Regarding “Greengrocers Can Turn a New Leaf, Duck Fines” [News, Sept. 18]; The Code of Conduct to improve working conditions in the greengrocer industry is an important step that should refocus the debate over undocumented immigrants employed throughout the New York metropolitan economy.
The code brokered by Attorney General Eliot Spitzer with the Korean American Association of Greater New York, greengrocer representatives, community-based groups, UFCW local 1500 and the state AFL-CIO, significantly improves wages in an industry that historically has relied upon a low-wage, undocumented workforce.
By creating a disincentive for employers to evade wage and hour laws, the code raises the floor for all low-wage workers, including American citizens and those otherwise legally authorized to work. As additional employers in industries such as landscaping and home improvement recognize their obligation to provide wages and benefits according to law, all workers will benefit.
Editor’s Note: The writer, Patricia McConnell, is a partner in Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C., which represented United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500.