Unionizing Carwash Workers—It Won’t Be Easy

by Anonymous (not verified) on September 08, 2010

Byline: Rebecca Rona-Tuttle

After the CLEAN Carwash Campaign, a Liberty Hill grantee, uncovered massive violations of wage and health and safety laws, two carwash owners, brothers Benny and Nisan Pirian, were investigated by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and charged in a 174-count criminal complaint. 

The brothers subsequently were sentenced to a year in jail for minimum-wage violations, a loud wake-up call to owners of LA’s 500 carwashes.

At the moment, no carwash workers are unionized. And until this recent verdict, little incentive existed for owners to treat workers well. But behind the scenes, the CLEAN Carwash Campaign, a coalition of 140 community, health, safety and labor groups in LA, has been engaging in a particularly complex process of union organizing.

Tuesday, in a New York Times article, labor reporter Steven Greenhouse described CLEAN Carwash Campaign’s efforts to unionize carwash workers.



Greenhouse quoted Chloe Osmer, CLEAN Carwash Campaign strategic coordinator; Peter Dreier, a Liberty Hill advisory board member, and Rabbi Jonathan Klein, executive director of CLUE-LA, also a Liberty Hill grantee.



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