QUEENS, N.Y. — Owner of Five Star Car Wash, David Amar, has been battling with his employees for about a month. On Wednesday, he agreed to pay his employees the wages they were owed, and to stop the retaliation over them joining a union, according to the New York Daily News.
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Amar has also agreed to sit down with his employees, and hammer out a union contract.
In November of 2013, the employees joined the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. This led to a strained relationship between employer and employee, with Amar cutting hours while raising pay to the legal minimum wage.
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After a walkout in late February, the conflict appears to be over. “The union and the workers met with Amar [on Feb. 26] and he agreed to pay them the money he owes and restore the number of hours they used to work before they became members of the union,” said Rocio Valerio, an organizer for the campaign Wash NY.
Employee, Refugio Denicia, described the reason for the relationship breakdown. “When we became union they raised our salary to $6.50, the owner cut our hours from the 60 to 70 per week we used to work to less than 40 to punish us.” He said that is now going to change.
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Velerio gave the union, and also the community, credit for helping them win this fight. “The victory would not have been possible without the support not only of the union and the other community organizations, but of the people of Elmhurst who made Amar hear their voices.”
He added that the next step in the process is to negotiate a “good contract.”
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