LOS ANGELES — Carwash workers, union organizers and other activists recently announced in a press release the launch of CleanWash Mobile, LLC, a new worker-owned co-op business.
CleanWash Mobile aims to transform the carwash industry by giving workers higher wages, safer working conditions and a more stable path to long-term economic security.
The business grew out of the work of the CLEAN Carwash Worker Center, which has been building the collective power of carwash workers in Los Angeles for the last 15 years.
The mobile business brings carwash and detailing services to customers where they are.
At a recent press conference, the workers and advocates who created CleanWash Mobile announced their first contract with St. John’s Community Health, one of the largest non-profit healthcare providers in Los Angeles County.
There are more than 10,000 carwash workers in Los Angeles County alone, and many arevulnerable to wage theft, exploitation and poor working conditions, stated the press release.
CleanWash Mobile’s co-op model puts power back in the hands of workers, compensating them appropriately for their highly skilled labor and empowering them to learn new skills.
Flor Rodriguez, executive director of the CLEAN Carwash Worker Center, said, “The launch of CleanWash Mobile is a culmination of everything we’ve been fighting for over the last decade, but we’re just getting started. Carwash workers deserve better, and CleanWash Mobile will give them a unique opportunity to build a business from the ground up, securing their economic futures along the way.”
Jim Mangia, president and chief executive officer of St. John’s Community Health, said, “We’re thrilled to partner with CleanWash Mobile to service our vehicles. This partnership will make it faster and easier to keep our fleet in top condition so we can continue advancing health equity for patients and communities across Los Angeles.”
With its first contract secured, CleanWash Mobile will look to grow its business by partnering with more non-profit organizations, unions, private companies and government agencies in the Los Angeles area.
Ron Herrera, president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, said: “The CLEAN Carwash Worker Center has been a fierce advocate for workers in an exploitative industry. Their successes in organizing carwash workers have advanced economic opportunity for countless individuals and families, and we’re excited about the possibilities of this innovative new business.”
Antonio Dominguez, a carwash worker and co-owner of CleanWash Mobile LLC, said, “I’ve been washing cars for 22 years, and I’ve had to work through terrible conditions — carwash companies have stolen our wages and discriminated against us. I’m so happy to create a working environment that not only keeps me and my coworkers safe, but that pays us a livable wage, while still being able to provide a deeply affordable service to our customers.”