FLUSHING, N.Y. — According to www.timesledger.com, carwash workers from Main Street Car Wash, also known as “Carwasheros,” went on strike in early May since the carwash owner refused to negotiate new contracts.
The workers chanted and waved signs in front of the establishment, the article continued; they were supported by such community members as the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), of which the workers at Main Street Car Wash are a part; members of New York Communities for Change; and Make the Road New York.
According to those on strike, owners in the carwash industry want to seek to eliminate overtime and instead hire part-time workers, the article noted.
Carwasheros earn below the minimum wage, the article stated, and rely on both tips and 50-to-60-hour work weeks to sustain themselves.
State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Flushing) joined with the strikers at the site and said, “The Main Street Car Wash workers have been providing an important service to the community for years, and it is important that their rights and working standards are held high,” Rozic said. “These workers deserve a fair contract with conditions that guarantee hours and provide a living wage, and I will continue to stand with them until that occurs.”
Chelsea Connor, spokeswoman for RWDSU, stated, “The issue with wages is really about scheduling, in that the business is scheduling workers for less than full-time hours and bringing in more part-time workers,” she said. “When this happens, workers are not able to make ends meet. The other issue is that car wash workers earn less than the minimum wage due to a loophole in Albany which allows the business to use tips to make up wages for workers.”
A newly proposed bill, S.2664, sponsored by Assemblyman Francisco P. Moya (D-Jackson Heights), would mandate that carwash workers be paid the full minimum wage and not be required to rely on tips, the article noted; further, it would remove carwashers from the Miscellaneous Industry Wage Order in order to make it easier for workers to predict their weekly pay and maintain payroll records.
Main Street Car Wash, in the meantime, has hired and brought in other workers to replace those on strike; as of the time of reporting, there have been no negotiations, the article stated.
This strike comes on the heels of a similar one in which workers at Cross Bronx Car Wash in the Bronx, New York, went on strike last month and were locked out of the carwash for two days, the article concluded.
Read the full article here.