Workers at the WCA Car Wash in Soundview in the Bronx voted unanimously to join the RWDSU. The workers there are the seventh New York City car wash to become members of the RWDSU.
WCA Car Wash, affectionately known to the workers as the Rico Pobre Car Wash, is owned by John Lage, who is by far the largest car wash owner in New York City, owning more than 20 car washes in the metropolitan area.
Omar Pineda, a 35-year old Rico Pobre worker from El Salvador, said: “My coworkers and I are thrilled with our victory and feel very grateful for all the support from the community. Just as we won our election we are going to win a just contract. We hope that with the union contract we will win the respect we deserve and some benefits as well, like better salary, job security and protection against the chemicals.” Pineda was a former worker from the Soho Car Wash who was transferred to Rico Pobre after it was closed down. He has been with the company for 13 years.
“We feel great with our victory,” said Jorge Linares, a 32-year old Rico Pobre worker from El Salvador. “My coworkers and I hope to win a contract that will guarantee some of the benefits we deserve, like better pay, paid vacation and sick days, and protection against chemicals. We hope to continue to struggle and hope other carwasheros join us.”
“The RWDSU has long been dedicated to improving the lives of low-wage workers, and we are proud of the employees at Rico Pobre, who have taken a significant step toward improving their jobs and their lives by voting to join the union today,” RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum said. “These brave workers fought back against their employer, like David slaying Goliath. Across the city, car wash workers are standing up, speaking out and demanding that they be treated with dignity and respect. This is a building movement.”
Workers at two of the newly unionized car washes have secured their first RWDSU contracts.