Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Congratulations to CLEAN

CLEAN is the Community-Labor-Environmental Action Network. They are a national coalition set up by the United Steelworkers' Carwash Workers Organizing Committee (CWOC) to bring workplace protections and establish a collective bargaining precedent for the car wash workers of Los Angeles and beyond.

Today, they announced they've reached their first contract with Bonus Carwash in Santa Monica. This marks the first contract in the United States that addresses the decades of abuse suffered by car wash workers.

Oliverio Gomez, who has worked at Bonus Car Wash for nine years, said, “I’m so happy we have a union and a contract. Now we get to take our breaks, if we’re thirsty we can drink water, and they respect the schedule, and all of the hours we work are in our paycheck. But the biggest difference is we finally get respect as workers.”

The contract includes a wage increase, health and safety protections, grievance and arbitration procedures and protections for workers if the carwash is sold. The agreement also establishes rights that protect workers from being unfairly punished or dismissed, among other things.

In light of the current social awareness movements across the world, its heartwarming to see positive tangible results. As a burgeoning Organizer, I was sent to an AFL-CIO Organizing conference within weeks of starting with the Guild. There, I met some of the AFL-CIO organizers assisting the CLEAN campaign. After hearing how their campaigns were going, I was left wondering if I would ever hear of success from their actions.

While this in no way diminishes the struggle CLEAN still has in front of them, it certainly destroys the argument that unionization has missed its opportunities in our corner of the world. The strength of the collective voice will always have its place when the workforce is ready to use it.

Congratulations to the United Steelworkers and the union employees of Bonus Carwash.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'll just say it - Hurray, people who are probably not here legally have a union! That's great! Hats off! Now, if they were legal residents I'd be damn happy for them - but they aint.

Now go ahead and call me a racist. I'm not - I don't give a rats ass if they are Canadian, Swiss or Nigerian - I do care about their legal status.

Steven Kaplan said...

And to that I'll volley back with:

At least those people are acting like the folks whom the laws are designed for. Want to take a guess how many union members sign a rep card when going to non-union studios?

I applaud not only the gumption it took to get organized, but the spinal cord it took to stand and say "Enough".

Anonymous said...

The have nothing to risk by unionizating... their jobs can not get ship overseas when production cost increases.

Anonymous said...

and there are not schools akin to Carwash Mentor that are flooding the market with younger kids who are more than happy to wash your car for half the amount of the older guys...

Steven Kaplan said...

Nothing to risk .. except employment. No Carwash Mentor .. except there is a consistent flood of migrant workers or locals looking for a days pay.

Anything else?

The parallels to animation and visual effects are distinct and clear. Artists have to want to be helped. Keep on denying it and I'll keep proving you wrong.

Steve Hulett said...

I've been listening to the "They'll send it all overseas!" refrain for longer than I've been doing this.

And yes, they DO send work overseas. But we've got higher membership now than we did when the union repped 100% of the work in the '60s and '70s.

Anonymous said...

But that´s not a complement on how successful has been the efforts to keep employment for going overseas or to Vancouver... There is more animation being done than ever, of course the numbers are going to grow, has the percentage risen too? And that´s not a criticism of the Animation Union efforts,but how inhospitable california has become to business in general

satanas said...

"Now go ahead and call me a racist. I'm not - I don't give a rats ass if they are Canadian, Swiss or Nigerian - I do care about their legal status."

I'm not gonna believe for a second that you care about their legal status. And unless you're of a native background, you have come from immigrants as well. Besides, this line of work is not something 'whitey' is lining up to sign up for. No whitey's have been displaced. Have you even considered what would happen if this labour would not be available for the bussiness who employ them?

satanas

Anonymous said...

If a business is not able to survive without cheap slave labour from desperate countries so be it. If I have to pay 50 cents more for tomatoes, so be it. If I can no longer afford a gardener so be it.

Everybody wants something for cheap, and imported slave labour from the fail neighbour narco state only helps to distort the wages and the real price of things so everybody can afford to leave like little kings. If I need a car wash i´ll do it myself. and if I have to pay 10 $ more so somebody can have a decent wage so be it too! No to ilegal immigration... period.

Anonymous said...

Hey satanas - yes my family came here from another land and we did it LEGALLY. We waited years for paperwork to be LEGALLY processed so we could come here LEGALLY - we did not sneak across the border (either the Canadian or Mexican) we came here LEGALLY. I have NO PROBLEM with immigrants - they made this country great I have a problem with law breakers. Don't like the laws CHANGE THEM - go out and vote - but a law breaker is a law breaker - plain and just like your views - simple.

el diablo said...

in other words, people who are here illegaly, don't have the right to be treated as people?

in other words, brown people are not equal to me because Im here legally and they're not?

Sorry, but you're conflating two different issues here.

"but a law breaker is a law breaker" seems to me you're the one using cute and simplistic mottos here...

what a turd...

Anonymous said...

I know this is an older post and will probably not get read by many - but...

No, people who are here illegally do not have the same rights as those here who are legally, why is that so hard to understand? It's the law - don't like the law? Vote to change the law.

It does not matter the race of the person - brown, yellow, black, white - if they are not here legally they have broke the law and should face the circumstances for breaking that law.

Does that mean they have no rights? Of course not - I am not advocating treating them without respect or in an undignified manner. What I am saying is to follow the law of the land - laws that we, as a people, voted into place.

I fought hard to come to this country from a place whose immigration laws make this countries look like a minor hand slap in comparison. I took a loyalty oath to this country not because I had to or face persecution but because I wanted to.

I assume by your name "el diablo" that you are a fellow Latin - I strongly suggest that you go to Columbia and state in a government office that you are there illegally and demand rights - see how long you remain out of prison or unbeaten. Before you whine about how bad it is here - do your homework on how other lands treat those in their borders without the proper documentation.

So, because I want to follow the rules I am a "turd"? Really? That's your argument? Nice to see you are falling back on debate tactics you formulated and perfected as a child. Bravo, el diablo! Bravo!

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