The owners of Five Star Car Wash in Queens, New York, have at last agreed to sit down with unionized employees to negotiate their contracts after a week of striking and protest, the New York Daily News reports.
Sixteen employees had unionized after a previous owner failed to pay $200,000 they say he owed them. A new owner watched the strike go on for days before his employees were forced to return to their jobs because they had no money, according to the Daily News. The newspaper wrote:
“We wanted to show our gratitude to the carwasheros from the Bronx and Brooklyn who came to support us while we were on strike,” said Refugio Denicia, 35, a Five Star employee for 15 years. Denicia said that because he had been an employee for so long, he was making all of $5.75 an hour.
Also according to the Daily News:
David Amar, the owner, who had not paid his employees their meager salaries for two weeks, agreed to pay them what they are owed, stop retaliating against them for having joined a union and, after months of refusing to comply with the law, he also agreed to sit down to negotiate a contract.
The workers had voted to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) in November 2013. Since then, and until last week, Amar, while raising their pay to the legal minimum wage level, began to cut their hours and refused to meet with the union as the law mandates.
This prompted the carwasheros — who say they have had their wages stolen for at least five years, receiving only $4 an hour and no overtime pay — to go on strike on Feb. 20. That day, members of the union filmed Amar kicking snow and making an obscene gesture at the striking workers.
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