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Proposed bill would require carwash licensing

May 03, 2012
KEYWORDS bill / fine / lawmakers / protests / unions
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NEW YORK CITY — A bill that would force carwash operators to obtain an annual license or face up to a $15,000 fine was introduced by local lawmakers here, according to Crain’s New York Business.

The May 2 story stated that, to get a license, carwash operators would have to divulge details of company ownership; certify compliance with local, state and federal laws; and obtain a $300,000 bond to cover unpaid fees and penalties. Also, a business could be denied a license based on past violations or unpaid taxes.

The bill is the latest part of a campaign headed up by community and labor organizations meant to transform carwash working conditions in New York City. As PC&D has reported, the campaign has lead to cries for unionization, organized protests and carwash owner subpoenas.

The bill’s main sponsor, City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, said in the story that the measures would ensure “that workers are protected from harm” and “consumers receive a carwash at a standard they can count on.”

In addition to the legislation, the City Council also held a hearing on working conditions at carwashes. In 2008, state investigators found nearly 80 percent of operators in the city violated minimum wage and overtime laws.

The city’s Department of Consumer Affairs already licenses 55 industries.

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