Yesterday was a historic moment for carwash workers in Los Angeles – after years of fighting the deplorable workplace conditions, workers have finally secured their first union contract. The agreement, with Bonus Car Wash in Santa Monica, marks the first contract won by the CLEAN (Community Labor Environmental Action Network) Campaign and makes Los Angeles home to the only unionized carwash in the country.
with first-hand accounts of the abusive working conditions that carwash workers face on a daily basis. A product of BNF’s Cuéntame initiative, “The New American Sweatshop”
shines a glaring light on the inhumane and illegal conditions that carwasheros are forced to endure.
This week, carwash workers, and community and union members of the Community-Labor-Environmental Action Network (CLEAN), rallied at Vermont Hand Wash in support of carwash workers who have been fighting for a voice on the job for more than two and a half years. The event celebrated the car wash workers’ victory against corporate abuse: the announcement by the City Attorney that two of Los Angeles’ worst carwash owners –brothers Benny and Nissan Pirian– have each been sentenced to one year in jail.
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board passed a resolution yesterday calling for the district to wash its huge fleet of vehicles only at carwashes that have signed the CLEAN Agreement, which commits the companies to abide by minimum employment, health and safety and environmental standards and to respect workers’ right to join a union.
The California labor commissioner’s office investigated 247 carwashes in California, after the CLEAN Carwash Campaign reported numerous potential wage-and-hour violations based on complaints from workers.
The actions, which resulted in more than $700,000 in fines to the carwashes, made it clear that the carwash industry continues to violate even the most basic laws protecting workers. The industry’s widespread problems with compliance highlight the need for workers to have a union to help enforce standards in their workplace.