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K&P Car Wash Workers Join RWDSU

etremontworkers

Workers at the K&P Car Wash have voted overwhelmingly to join the RWDSU – the ninth car wash to vote to unionize since the WASH New York campaign began in 2012.

The “carwasheros” at the shop, formerly known as the East Tremont Car Wash at 1095 E. Tremont Ave., voted 21-4 to join the RWDSU.

“We organized ourselves because we want to have a union contract that guarantees us better working conditions,” K&P worker Jose Pedro Calderon said. “But most importantly we organized ourselves because we wanted respect.”

“This victory proves that we are building a movement among workers in New York's car wash industry,” RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum said. “This is our ninth victory in a row; and we have achieved first contracts in every other organized car wash thus far.  Low wage workers -- regardless of immigration status -- are coming together and standing up for better working conditions and respect on the job.  We are proud of the carwasheros and welcome them to the RWDSU family.”

The organizing drive wasn’t easy for K&P workers. Recently, owners of other car washes who are members of the Association of Car Wash Owners – an industry group - traveled to K&P Car Wash, and shut it down in the middle of the work day to hold a captive-audience meeting. The purpose of the meeting, workers said, was to make them fearful of reprisals if they exercised their right to join the union. One of the workers said the owners also threatened to shut the business down rather than negotiate with the RWDSU.

  “Even in the face of threats and intimidation, these workers understand the value of a union job that ensures decent wages and a safe workplace.  I stand proudly behind the workers at the K&P Car Wash and their decision to join RWDSU so they can provide a better livelihood for their families and communities,” said New York City Council Member Ritchie Torres.