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Proposed bill would require carwash licensing

NEW YORK CITY — Legislation requiring washes to obtain licenses is the latest result of the East Coast carwash union campaign.

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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.

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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.

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

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