Car wash workers march for workplace changes

Workers of a Park Slope car wash rallied on Sunday with local officials to call for changes from their employer.

Workers of a Park Slope car wash rallied on Sunday with local officials to call for changes from their employer.

Workers of a Park Slope car wash rallied on Sunday with local officials to call for changes from their employer. (12/14/14)

BROOKYLN - Workers of a Park Slope car wash rallied on Sunday with local officials to call for changes from their employer.

The washers who work at Vegas Auto Spa say they want to the right to join a union, and want more pay, better job conditions and protections. They have been calling for the changes for nearly a month.

On Nov. 19, the workers went on strike. They claim that the car wash owner, Marat Leschinsky, retaliated by threatening to cut their hours and by decreasing salaries.

Car wash workers say they work with chemicals, acids and detergents, and they want protections like gloves, masks and goggles.

Organizers of Sunday's march say they sued their employer back in October, claiming they were paid less than minimum wage and worked as many as 90 hours per week without overtime. They say they have been cheated out of $600,000 by their employer.

An attorney for the car wash says that workers were paid all of their wages, and that they voluntarily walked out of the job. He added that the owner will recognize any employee union as long as it follows the appropriate procedures.

With the holidays approaching, members of the Park Slope community supported the workers by making donations while they strike.

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