Car wash workers in New York have reached another milestone in their ongoing negotiations for better pay and working conditions in the highly unregulated industry in the state. The New York Daily News reports that a group of employees in Brooklyn have opted for a higher hourly pay rate in exchange for no longer accepting tips. The pay is not only higher than what they were originally making. It also surpasses minimum wage.
Local union officials said the hope the deal can serve as an example to other small businesses navigating new rules for how to treat workers. The deal is in place for 18 months and should be formally signed today.
Minimum wage in Brooklyn is currently at about $9 an hour. Under this new contract, workers will earn about $10 an hour without tips. But they will also enjoy paid sick leave and a week of vacation, according to Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.
“That’s a big deal,” said RWDSU spokeswoman Janna Pea. “A lot have families that do not live in the U.S. They will now be able to go back home to visit their families without having to worry about their jobs.”
Advocates say it’s a big step for workers and for the industry as a whole.