License to Wash Cars

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The car wash industry has come under fire for its labor practices in the past and now the city council is looking at requiring greater regulation of the business. Julissa Ferreras, council member representing Queens district 21 (Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, Corona and Jackson Heights), Finance Committee Chair, and one of the bill's sponsors talks about what this would mean for car wash owners and their workers.



Ms. Julissa Ferreras

Comments [7]

"People who are compassionate, loving, patient, tolerant and forgiving recognize their impact on others and order their conduct accordingly."

It's really good to know that Councilwoman Ferreras has the financial resources to patronize the high priced, non-automated car wash establishments she is requiring with her "feels-good-to-her" measures.
I'm sure the WNYC listening audience will cheer her now. But they will be the first to use the "Uber App" that will be created for the sclerotic "taxi like" industry she is mandating.
Public servants should be asked to state their household income before proclaiming how the Public would like to spend their money.

Jun. 24 2014 11:09 AM

Worker exploitation - foreign or domestic, legal or illegal - has got to stop. The 'free market' excuse is just a rationale for continuing the exploitation. Why should we permit job conditions so bad that we would not let a relative take the job? As wages go up for folks that actually spend the money, prices will increase. If the national minimum does increase, expect some pretty healthy inflation.

The costs will increase as wages grow. I consider it Phase II of The Great Recovery. Regrettable but very necessary to prevent the beheadings that would ensue if the distribution of income stays on the same arc that it has been on for the last ten years.

Jun. 24 2014 10:59 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

I think the Councilwoman is mistaken about the application of current labor law and its enforcement. Carwash workers are covered by labor law as much as any other employees are and it only involves some undercover work on the part of the Department of Labor to find instances of violations. In addition, if a carwash employee feels that s/he has been cheated in some way, or that labor conditions are not being met, that employee can make an individual complaint with the Department of Labor and initiate an investigation.

As far as the caller who suggested that maybe all carwashes would eventually be automated, it is important to stress that automated carwashes have limitations. They don't go back over tough spots that were missed and they don't vacuum and clean interiors. So there is still a need for regular, human-operated carwashes, but existing labor laws do apply and should be enforced by spot-checks by the Department of Labor.

As for me, I no longer put my tips in the jar - I prefer to tip the individuals whom I see working on my car. That way I know they get the money and they get what is fair instead of an unequal distribution from the tip jar that may be giving too much money to employees who slack off.

Jun. 24 2014 10:53 AM
CR from Manhattan

So... most of the car wash workers are illegal aliens. All of the car wash owners are American citizens. This city council member serves the law breaker at the expense of the people she swore an oath to represent?


Jun. 24 2014 10:39 AM

but you don't know what the fair wage is....

Jun. 24 2014 10:37 AM
john from office

The City Counsel will not be happy until they destroy small business in New York City. It happened in the Dry Cleaning business and now they are going after the Car Wash business. Has this Council person ever ran a business???

Jun. 24 2014 10:36 AM
Julissa from Bronx

Great and stop them from dumping all the water and oils and gasoline mixtures in the sewer drains constantly. Mae them pay for all the water they use. Also look at the budget for the NYCEDC and how they are subsidizing huge corporations that pay $8 an hour.

Jun. 24 2014 10:33 AM

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