CLEAN Secures Historic Agreement in Fight to Protect Rights of LA Carwasheros
Today carwash workers with the CLEAN Carwash Campaign announced a union contract with Bonus Car Wash in Santa Monica, making Los Angeles home to the only unionized carwash in the country. The agreement marks the first contract won by the CLEAN (Community Labor Environmental Action Network) Campaign in its efforts to end decades of abuses suffered by Los Angeles carwash workers.
Secured with the help of community partners across Los Angeles and the national AFL-CIO, these agreements mean workers at Bonus will become members of the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, (United Steelworkers). Workers at Marina Car Wash in Venice, which is owned by the same company but was closed last December, also won recognition of the union and a contract, and the owners have committed to working to reopen the well-known carwash.
Oliverio Gomez, who has worked at Bonus Car Wash for nine years, said, “I’m so happy we have a union and a contract. Now we get to take our breaks, if we’re thirsty we can drink water, and they respect the schedule, and all of the hours we work are in our paycheck. But the biggest difference is we finally get respect as workers.”
Workers at Marina and Bonus Car Wash have been seeking to unionize since 2008. They formed organizing committees at both carwashes to push for improvements, engaged in worksite actions, and made presentations to dozens of local community groups, churches and synagogues to gain public support for their efforts to form a union and win a contract ... more