Make the Road New York Helps Unionize Exploited Car Wash Workers

Alliance for a Just Society affiliate Make The Road New York, along with their partners in the “WASH New York” campaign, New York Communities for Change, have been working with car wash workers across the city to speak out and stand up against the gross labor violations rife in this notorious industry.  On September 8th, the workers at Hi-Tek Carwash & Lube in East Elmhurst, Queens made history by voting to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, making them the first car wash east of Los Angeles to unionize. 

From Make the Road New York’s website:

The Hi-Tek workers have been leaders of the WASH-NY campaign and are also being represented by MRNY’s legal team in a major federal wage and hour lawsuit.

One of the best ways for workers to make changes at their workplace and to win a real voice on the job is to form a union — and MRNY is committed to supporting the Hi-Tek employees as they work to win a contract guaranteeing them fair wages and dignity on the job.

Recently, we surveyed car wash workers citywide and found that two-thirds of employees received less than the minimum wage. The vast majority worked at least 60 hours a week, with some working as much as 105 hours a week, but a whopping 75% of them didn’t receive the overtime pay they were due.

You can read the full report, The Dirty Business of Cleaning NYC’s Cars, here.

And visit Make The Road New York’s blog here for the full story. 


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