The mission of the CLEAN Carwash Campaign is to support and empower car wash workers as they improve and create long-lasting change in their workplaces, lives, and communities. 

 

 

OUR HISTORY

For ten years, Community Labor Environmental Action Network (CLEAN) has demonstrated through collective action, community, and civic engagement that carwasherxs can challenge the working conditions of an exploitative industry. In 2011, CLEAN as a coalition celebrated the organizing efforts of workers at Bonus Car Wash in Santa Monica, which ratified the first union contract for car wash workers in the nation. Six years later, Los Angeles is home to more than 20 union car washes, many in South Central LA. In 2013, CLEAN's organizing led to the permanent enactment of the Car Wash Worker Law, which, among other things, created a restitution fund for carwasherxs who are owed wages and cannot recover them from their employer. This type of fund is rare in California, and similar funds exist only for the car wash, garment, and agricultural industries.

Today, CLEAN continues to support carwasherxs by organizing members from union and non-union car washes and investing in their leadership development. Through the Carwash Worker Center in South LA, established in January 2013, CLEAN envisions a safe space for workers and their families to exercise their right to belong and be themselves and to learn how to effect change in their lives and communities. As a result of CLEAN’s hard work over the past decade, car wash employers now recognize that they cannot exploit organized and community-supported workers without consequence.

 
 
The struggle against the Pirian brothers, owners of Vermont Hand Wash and several other car washes across LA, was one of the first public campaigns for CLEAN. The Pirian brothers were sentenced to jail time in 2010 after workers came forward to share their stories of abuse at the car wash. Silvia, Jose, and Carlos have been fighting with CLEAN since the beginning, organizing at their workplaces since 2007. In 2015, they graduated from CLEAN’s Leadership Brigade program.
Jose Rolando, Silvia Molina, and Carlos Cuestas

Jose Rolando, Silvia Molina, and Carlos Cuestas


OUR FUNDERS

 

We thank our community supporters as well as the following foundations for sustaining our work: Liberty Hill Foundation, Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock (UUCSR), Labor Innovation for the 21st Century (LIFT), National Employment Law Project (NELP), Marguerite Casey Foundation.

 
 
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CLEAN’s vision is for Los Angeles to be a place where car wash workers can work with dignity, have a voice in the industry, and be a movement for political, social, and economic change.