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Know Your Rights
Source: Make the Road New York
Subject: Workplace Justice
Type: Event

Raising the Wage for All – A Message From MRNY Member Santos Garcia

After a tough battle, the Albany legislature last week passed a budget that will raise the minimum wage to $9 over the next three years. This means that 1.5 million workers will get a much needed raise.

Members of MRNY and our allies organized to make sure that the wage increase now includes most tipped workers, including car wash workers (a.k.a. carwasheros) like me, who were nearly pushed out of the final deal.

However, the minimum wage agreement in Albany still excludes our brothers and sisters in the food service industry. Sign our petition today telling Governor Cuomo to act fast to increase the minimum wage for food service workers!

I work at Sutphin Car Wash in Jamaica, Queens and although I am a tipped worker, I usually bring home only $300 per week or about $15,600 a year, which I must use to support my elderly parents. This is well below the federal poverty level of $19,500 for a family of three.

In fact, one in five New Yorkers lives in poverty. The members of Make the Road refuse to accept this as inevitable. Carwasheros and workers in other low-income industries are organizing now to win jobs with dignity. Last week, carwasheros from all over New York City gathered in Manhattan for a historic assembly to celebrate our campaign’s first year victories. In just 12 months, with invaluable support from the RWDSU, New York Communities for Change, and clergy, community and elected allies, we have won a strike, saved the jobs of over a dozen workers whose carwash was closing, and improved workplace conditions citywide. So far, five NYC car washes have elected to unionize.

We’re winning respect and dignity on the job in individual workplaces, and through thousands of calls, marches and rallies, and conversations with legislators, we will continue to win victories like the minimum wage campaign.

Join us: Sign our petition today telling Governor Cuomo to act fast to increase the minimum wage for food service workers!

Thank you for your support,

Santos Garcia
Workplace Justice Committee, MRNY

Winning Workplace Justice:

Car Wash Assembly Advocating in Albany Workers unionized
Carwasheros convene historic car wash assembly to celebrate a year of victories.
MRNY members and allies fill the halls in Albany to demand a minimum wage increase.
Carwasheros at 5 car washes have elected to unionize in the past 12 months.