Support needed for car-wash workers on strike in Park Slope

Support needed for car-wash workers on strike in Park Slope

Update (12/10/14): This Sunday, December 14, the workers will be marching through the community to kick off a rally for their rights. 

March in Support of Striking Carwasheros

Sunday, December 14 at 11am

Start: F/G station at 7th Ave and 9th Street

End: Las Vegas Auto Spa (555 Seventh Ave) 

I will be taking part in Sunday’s march to show solidarity and support for these workers, and I hope that you will join me. Together, we will show this owner that our community will not stand for abusive and unjust labor practices. I look forward to seeing you there.

Original Post (11/26/14):

Our help is needed to support a group of low-wage workers who went on strike this Thanksgiving week, standing up for their rights and their dignity.

The car-wash workers (or “car-washeros”) at Vegas Auto Spa (on 19th Street & 7th Avenue) have been cheated out of $600,000 in overtime and wages by owner Marat Leshehinsky, a stunning amount considering that there are only a dozen employees. Since the workers first started to organize – to demand their back pay, and to form a union – Leshehinsky has retaliated, cutting the hours of workers who have been involved in the organizing, illegally locking them out, and making it clear that he doesn’t believe that labor law applies to him and his shop.

The car-washeros have been on the picket lines outside the carwash for the past several days (though they’ll be taking a break for the holiday from now until Friday), and are pledging to hold their ground until their rights are respected, their union is recognized, and an agreement can be reached.

For low-wage workers already cheated of wages, a strike will require community support. Several terrific organizations – including Make the Road New York, New York Communities for Change, and the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) – are playing a critical role in supporting the workers’ effort. Council Member Carlos Menchaca (who has rapidly become a real champion in the Council and the community) has provided great solidarity on the picket-line. And Congregation Kolot Chayeinu is stepping up to help organize support.  But your help is needed as well.

Here’s what the organizers are asking for:

  • Don’t use the car wash!
  • Call Mr. Leshehinsky at 718-768-9274 and demand that he recognize these worker’s rights. Let him know that you won’t use the car wash until he reaches a deal … but you’d be glad to once he recognizes and signs a contract with the union.
  • If you have a few minutes, drop by the picket line on 19th St and 7th Ave between 7am & 6pm, everyday staring November 28 to express your support. Check the Facebook group for daily updates.
  • Bring coffee and healthy prepared food to the strikers.
  • If you have more time, stay and picket alongside the workers, asking our neighbors not to use the car wash while the workers are striking. Sign up for a shift.
  • Donate food for the strikers and their families. Bring donations directly to the picket line from Friday through Sunday, and starting Monday, December 1 you can bring donations to my office (456 Fifth Avenue, 3rd Floor).
  • Donate funds for the strikers and their families. You can donate online with a credit card or bring cash donations to the picket line.
  • Join the Facebook group for updates and more info.

Thanks for your help. I hope you can join the fight for justice for these car-washeros – and also that you have a peaceful and restorative Thanksgiving.

In solidarity,

Brad

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