The nation’s first car wash to ink a labor deal with unionized workers has just renewed the employees’ contract, the Santa Monica Daily Press reported.
Bonus Car Wash extended the grievance and arbitration model it introduced with the first contract, signed in 2011, and maintains the workplace safety protections. The first contract raised wages. The new contract further increases wages and provides for “seniority rights,” a spokeswoman for the union told the newspaper. The workers celebrated the renewal with cake on Friday.
According to the Daily Press:
Car wash labor issues abound in Southern California.
Last year, Wilshire West Car Wash and two of its supervisors pleaded no contest to six misdemeanor charges after it was determined they were cheating workers. The Santa Monica car wash had to pay $656,000 in back wages for, among other things, failing to pay minimum wage. City Hall filed the original criminal charges.
Despite Bonus’ union credentials, they failed to pull in a city contract in 2012. City Hall avoided Bonus, which also submitted the cheapest bid, favoring instead Lincoln Boulevard Car Wash because the former had a poor environmental record. The Regional Water Quality Control Board said runoff from the carwash was polluting the water.
Bonus Car Wash was the first to unionize, but many others in California have followed. In New York, a large push is underway to unionize so-called “carwasheros” after city prosecutors discovered major abuses, including illegally low wages and withholding overtime pay.