Contribute to support the workers at Las Vegas Car Wash

Contribute to support the workers at Las Vegas Car Wash

The fight for dignity and fair pay for low-wage workers has made it to our doorstep – or at least to our neighborhood car-wash.

The car-wash workers (or “carwasheros”) at Las Vegas Auto Spa (on 19th Street & 7th Avenue) have been cheated out of $600,000 in overtime and wages by owner Marat Leshehinsky, threatened, and denied their right to organize and form a union. So they took the brave step to go out on strike, and have been on the picket line since Thanksgiving.

We have a very concrete role to play: I am asking every one of us who cares about workers' rights to make a contribution to the strike fund so these courageous workers can get through the holidays.

Many of you have visited the workers on the picket line, bringing coffee, offering support – and getting to meet workers like Luis Garcia, Rogelio Lara, and Angel Robelledo. Hundreds of neighbors came out to support them publicly at last weekend’s march and rally, and it really meant a lot to them. Now, they need our financial support as well.

Please contribute today to help these courageous workers make it through the winter.

It’s this simple: Luis, Rogelio, Angel, and the other carwasheros only make about $300 per week working full-time – and are often not paid overtime, even when working as many as 90 hours per week – at the car-wash. That adds up to $15,000 per year, which would not be enough to pay the rent on a one-bedroom apartment in our neighborhood. Right now, they are getting $100 per week from the strike fund of the Retail, Wholsesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU). But of course, that is nowhere near enough to pay rent, buy food, and support a family as the strike continues.

So, we want to make sure the workers and their families each have another $100 per week to get by. Leshehinsky is fighting the workers’ basic right to form a union, saying the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has no jurisdiction over him. We are optimistic that the NLRB will rule in the workers’ favor – but it is likely to take two months. So the organizers have a goal of raising $10,000 to help the workers get through the next two months.

Can you give $50 or $100 today to help us reach the $10,000 goal to support the carwasheros?

Our community values social justice, and we’ve been willing to stand up for workers across the country. Now the fight has been brought to our own backyard, and these workers have turned to us in their time of need.

As Rogelio Lara, who has worked at Las Vegas Car Wash for nine years, told us: “We are carwasheros are united and fighting for our rights, and for our future. We are fighting not just for us, but for all those who are coming after us, so they don’t go through what we’ve suffered through.”

Rogelio and the other carwasheros are making an enormous sacrifice to stand up for their rights. I hope we will make a much smaller sacrifice to support them.

During what should be a joyful holiday season for you and your family, I ask that you keep these courageous workers in mind. We should not allow their courage and commitment to pass in vain.

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