“The New American Sweatshop” Sheds Light on Horrific Exploitation of LA Carwash Workers

The CLEAN Carwash Campaign has been working in Los Angeles to help carwash workers improve conditions and form a union. The Campaign has had a number of victories, including jail time for two carwash owners who violated labor laws, a $6.6 million lawsuit filed by the Attorney General of California against another group of carwashes and an $80K lawsuit paid out to an employee who had wages stolen at a carwash in West LA.

This week, CLEAN is teaming up with Brave New Foundation to launch a new video 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 (scroll down to watch the video).

The video details how:

  • Carwasheros are routinely paid well below minimum wage and in some cases are only allowed to work for tips. 
  • Carwasheros are not provided proper health and safety equipment including masks and gloves when handling toxic chemicals.
  • When they stand up for their rights, carwasheros are often subjected to intense harassment and retaliation by management, including having their work hours cut or being fired.

Despite these scare tactics however, the workers continue to stand up for themselves and fight for their rights.  To learn more about the CLEAN Carwash Campaign and how you or your union can support the struggle, visit our website or check us out on Facebook and Twitter.