October 25th, 2011
First Unionized Car Wash In Los Angeles

Workers at a Santa Monica, California car wash were recently victorious in their efforts to unionize. Bonus Car Wash workers have been working towards a union since 2008 and with the help of several organizations, including the AFL-CIO. Now workers there are set to become members of the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, or, United Steelworkers.

Here’s a statement from the union:

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.

The contract includes a wage increase, health and safety protections, grievance and arbitration procedures and protections for workers if the carwash is sold. The agreement also establishes rights that protect workers from being unfairly punished or dismissed, among other things.

There’s more here.

[Photo By joelk75]

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