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employee relations, regulations, unions

Minimum Wage Increase Could Harm Car Wash Owners

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Photo from Reason magazine

Car wash owners in New York City have said they’re scared about how the new minimum wage increase could affect the bottom line at their businesses. An article on the topic appeared in Reason magazine this week. A portion was also featured on the Washington Post’s website.

In the article, car wash owners talk about the impact an upcoming wage increase will have on their business. By the end of 2018, minimum wage will increase from $9 an hour to $15 an hour under a new state law. But car work owners who said they want to run fair businesses are also worried they’ll go out of business trying to accommodate this major wage hike. One car wash owner claims he’ll have to start charging as much as $22 a car wash instead of $7 to get by.

The story comes after major changes to the car wash industry where undocumented workers often suffer abuse and are given low pay. The overhaul, which began a few years ago, aimed to change regulations. The next thing to catch up, is the hourly pay.

The situation started to change in 2008, when state investigators conducted the first car wash sweeps in recent memory. The following year, the U.S. Department of Labor settled a lawsuit against one of the city’s largest operators, with cumulative back wages and damages totaling $4.7 million. In 2012, the retail workers union and two affiliated labor groups launched WASH New York, a campaign to organize employees of the city’s more than 200 car washes.

Have you read about the minimum wage increase in New York? How will it affect your car wash?

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