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Inspectors find dirt on books at Southern Calif. carwashes
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-carwash23mar23,0,3592975.story ^

Posted on 03/21/2008 1:52:42 PM PDT by World_Events

A team of state inspectors strode into the Blue Wave Car Wash in West Los Angeles, past latte-sipping customers in electric massage chairs and into the gritty carwash tunnel.

"¿Cuánto gana usted?" the inspectors asked worker after worker, about 20 of them, most Latino immigrants. How much do you make? Each carwashero responded that he earned minimum wage or more -- just as the owner of the Blue Wave, one of the region's busiest carwashes, had told the inspectors.

Looking over payroll records, however, the regulators became suspicious. Employees who said they were full time were listed as working just 10 or 15 hours a week.

Inspector Martha Mendoza ushered Juan Cruz Santiago, a small man with salt-and-pepper hair, away from the others. During gentle questioning under a ficus tree, he admitted that most days, he and his 66-year-old father worked for tips only. So did nearly half the other employees, he said. It had been that way for at least six years.

"It's bad," the 41-year-old Oaxacan immigrant whispered to Mendoza, his eyes darting nervously toward his boss' office. "Other carwashes are the same, no?"

Many are. A Times investigation has found that hand carwashes, automotive beauty shops patronized by tens of thousands of Southern California motorists every day, often brazenly violate basic labor and immigration laws, with little risk of penalty.

Half or more of carwash owners flout the minimum-wage law, estimated David Dorame, the longtime lead investigator for low-wage industries at California's Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

Despite many undocumented workers' reluctance to complain to authorities, employees at a fifth of Southern California's carwashes in the last five years have formally accused owners of illegally underpaying them, The Times found.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: aliens; california; cheaplabor; immigration

1 posted on 03/21/2008 1:52:42 PM PDT by World_Events
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To: World_Events

Gee, I wonder how they pay for their food, housing, healthcare and education for their kids? /s


2 posted on 03/21/2008 1:57:03 PM PDT by A_Former_Democrat
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To: World_Events
The laws need to be obeyed. Boot out the illegals and pay legal workers minimum wage. I'm sure everyone would be happy. </sarc>
3 posted on 03/21/2008 1:57:04 PM PDT by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
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To: World_Events

Why, these poor, poor, people! How cruel! I can’t bear it, so I’m going to offer the solution to their misery. Arrest them and deport them. Then fine the employers so heavily that it becomes worth their while to hire legal immigrants and U.S. citizens.


4 posted on 03/21/2008 1:57:55 PM PDT by American Quilter (Vote Democrat--It's Easier Than Thinking)
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To: World_Events
Yep. And the Open Borders types blithely ignore this neo-Slavery where all of the benefits go to those who break the law. Their competitors who choose to actually follow the rules have to compete against this as well.
5 posted on 03/21/2008 1:59:21 PM PDT by TCats (The Clintons Are Not Just Wrong - They Are Certifiable AND Dangerous! See my Page)
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To: A_Former_Democrat

Slavery is alive and well, I see. Only difference between now and “then” is that “then”, the slaveowners paid their servants’ living expenses themselves; today’s slavemasters dump the expense onto their neighbors.


6 posted on 03/21/2008 2:02:18 PM PDT by thulldud (Insanity: Electing John McCain again and expecting a different result.)
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To: thulldud

Illegal immigration does exploit the illegal immigrants.
So the crime cuts both ways..it also exploits american workers who get lower wages and pay the taxes to support the illegals. It is a loss for everyone..except the employers.


7 posted on 03/21/2008 2:15:12 PM PDT by Oldexpat
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To: World_Events
During gentle questioning under a ficus tree, he admitted that most days, he and his 66-year-old father worked for tips only.

That’s a problem?

Tell you what – I worked as a limousine driver and also worked as a valet at a casino. I can’t tell you how many times a customer from a wedding, bachelor party, bachelorette party, prom gig, or other, gave me a $150 tip or more.

That’s way more than I made hourly (even at minimum wage) working for the company.

On three occasions at the casino some guy flipped me a $500 chip. $100 chips weren’t uncommon (though it didn’t happen every day) and $50 or $20 chips were pretty routine.

That beats the S out of “minimum wage.”

Time to get the government out of private employment issues. That includes establishing a minimum wage. If they want to control egress and ingress WRT other nationalities, do it. Otherwise step back or cry in your beer when businesses flee to countries that don’t try to hamstring employers and have them do the federal government’s work on their behalf for free – particularly when they’re paying top-dollar for the “privilege.”

That’s how that’s going to work. Just watch.

8 posted on 03/21/2008 2:18:50 PM PDT by Who dat?
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To: World_Events
Each carwashero responded that he earned minimum wage or more

"Carwashero" is taking Spanglish just a wee bit too far.

9 posted on 03/21/2008 2:25:14 PM PDT by DumpsterDiver
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To: World_Events
This isn't new. I grew up in California and was probably in high school (20-odd years ago) when my parents could afford a nice, new car and the money to have it washed each week.

There were few English speaking people around. I doubt they were paid better then.

10 posted on 03/21/2008 2:28:20 PM PDT by Dianna
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To: World_Events

btt


11 posted on 03/21/2008 2:34:26 PM PDT by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
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To: World_Events
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say they have not raided a single California carwash in at least four years.

Until enforcement of immigration and employment laws becomes a credible deterrent to cheating, employers will continue to depend on illegal labor.

12 posted on 03/21/2008 2:40:14 PM PDT by Menehune56 (Oderint Dum Metuant (Let them hate, so long as they fear - Lucius Accius (170 BC - 86 BC)))
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To: World_Events

Tough working for tips. Maybe they should find work at home.


13 posted on 03/21/2008 3:06:45 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Secret Agent Man

oooo... you might not ever get rich
but tell you it’s better digging a ditch
there aint no telling who you might meet
a moviestar or maybe even a pennyache

working at the carwash
working at the carwash yeeh
come on and sing it with me
carwash
sing it with the feeling now
carwash yeah

come some of the work gets kind of hard
this aint no place to be if you planned on being a star
let me tell you it’s always cool
and the boss dont mind somethimes if you act a fool

At the carwash wooh
talking about the carwash yeah
come on y’all and sing it for me
car wash woh
car wash yeah

work and work
well those cars never seem to stop coming
work, and work
keep those waggons and machines coming
work and work my fingers to the bone
work and work
keep up, i can’t wait till it’s time to go home

hey, get your car washed today
be in our band, you don’t have to pay
come on and give us a play.
get it washed right away

At the carwash
talking about the carwash yeah
come on y’all and sing it for me
car wash woh
car wash yeah

wowowo
those cars never seem to stop coming
keeps those rags and machines coming
let me tell you it’s always cool,
and the boss don’t mind sometimes if you, act the fool


14 posted on 03/21/2008 3:53:49 PM PDT by Neidermeyer
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To: World_Events
And these are the very same migrant workers that Bush has worked so hard to get here and McCain will work even harder to keep here to supply their new base, the greedy employer.

  

Whose Mexican will work the cheapest?!

15 posted on 03/21/2008 4:16:39 PM PDT by Ron H. (English is the glue that binds America together.....)
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To: Ron H.; 1_Inch_Group; 2sheep; 2Trievers; 3AngelaD; 3pools; 3rdcanyon; 4Freedom; 4ourprogeny; ...

Ping!


16 posted on 03/21/2008 8:31:03 PM PDT by HiJinx (~ Support our Troops ~ www.americasupportsyou.mil ~)
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To: HiJinx

Bttt!


17 posted on 03/21/2008 8:35:30 PM PDT by TheLion
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To: Who dat?
On three occasions at the casino some guy flipped me a $500 chip. $100 chips weren’t uncommon (though it didn’t happen every day) and $50 or $20 chips were pretty routine.
Yea those car wash guys are knocking 'em dead with all those $500-$100-$150-$50 tips thrown at them...Isn't that what everyone tips at the Car wash?...Just like everyone at the casinos.
18 posted on 03/21/2008 8:58:07 PM PDT by lewislynn (What does the global warming movement and the Fairtax movement have in common? Disinformation)
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To: World_Events

just doing the jobs Americans won’t do....for slave wages...


19 posted on 03/21/2008 9:06:38 PM PDT by rolling_stone (same)
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To: Who dat?; wardaddy

Your Las Vegas life story is irrelevant.
If you read the article you’ll find they are supposed to be paid minimum wage under California law. This law was circumvented

Only question left— is the employer American or a legal Hispanic immigrant-——>>>>>

“Many of the business owners are legal immigrants from Asia and the Middle East. Kevin Kish, an attorney with Bet Tzedek Legal Services, a nonprofit agency that provides low-wage workers free legal help, said the new owners often brought from their homelands a cavalier attitude toward the law and a tendency to treat workers almost”


20 posted on 03/22/2008 1:12:58 AM PDT by dennisw (Never bet on a false prophet! <<<||>>> Never bet on Islam!)
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To: Who dat?
Time to get the government out of private employment issues. That includes establishing a minimum wage.

Just as soon as the government(ie taxpayer) gets out of the 'subsidizing' health care & educational benefits for illegal aliens.

21 posted on 03/22/2008 8:46:18 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: World_Events

“...accused owners of illegally underpaying them..”

Is this worse than ILLEGALLY EMPLOYING THEM?

Is this worse than their BEING HERE ILLEGALLY in the first place?

Just which illegal activity are we supposed to be outraged by?


22 posted on 03/22/2008 8:51:22 AM PDT by G Larry (HILLARY CARE = DYING IN LINE!)
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To: World_Events

Business owners like these carwashes are the ones who pretend to care about these illegal aliens. They will exploit anyone they can.

Build the @&*! fence!


23 posted on 03/22/2008 9:07:44 AM PDT by AuntB ('If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." T. Paine)
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To: dennisw
Gritty Car Wash?

they make it sound like the Gulag.

Caring for a car wash is:

Repairs.....unless they are too technical and we need outside help

Sweeping and garbage

Topping off soaps and waxes etc

Revenue sorting

Vending top off

Resets on machines

and dealing with happy or unhappy customers

It's not truly hard physical work except rarely and for brief duration but it can be tedious and customers can be such fun.

Sometimes it's unpleasantly hot or cold.

This sounds like a full service wash so those Mexicans are wiping down the car when it comes out of the wash and vacuuming and whatnot.

Beats digging ditches by a mile as far as hard work goes.

24 posted on 03/22/2008 9:22:23 AM PDT by wardaddy (Obama: The candidate for those who think Deliverance was a documentary.)
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To: dennisw; wardaddy

Wardaddy hires strictly legal folks for his car washes. Not that the illegals don’t constantly inquire...they always run away when I demonstrate the technologies we’re using that replaces a legion of towel-wielding aliens.

They must be assuming we here in the South are into the slave labor thing like Southern California. They thought wrong and I encourage them to keep moving whenever possible. They aren’t victims...not when I saw six little Hispanic kids climbing all over a large mower in Wally World yelling that they’re just like daddy. Six kids and he couldn’t have been a day over thirty. “Don’t worry, the government here will help!” All those anchors were dressed with finer clothing than the local tots.

Wardaddy saw a similar situation at the school his kids attends and proactively got the kids from lesser means properly outfitted. He did this because kids shouldn’t be subjugated to the prejudices that dominate the thinking of their elders (styles, fashions, tastes, etc.) when they need to be focused on learning.

If our government applies the rule of law to citizens while allowing those who shouldn’t be here to skid sideways we no longer have a workable civilization.

I’ll vote McCain but I’ll fight his masters just like I fought the Bush family. Third World is not our responsibility and shouldn’t be supported by the working families of America. Kick the illegals out and eat ice cream while perusing all the media sob stories about it. We didn’t buy the “we’d collapse without them” BS and we’re not shedding a tear for the law catching up to them. I DO regret that our enforcement sucked so bad for so long that everyone South of our border regards America as a soft touch.

So - we do not post bilingual signage so long as those requiring it throw trash on the ground while two feet from a provided trash can. I see this consistently and it tells me that the illegal aliens, as a group, regard our country a thing to be used and abused while not giving their neighbors any consideration whatsoever. I retaliate with civility and educational snippets while prepared for anything.


25 posted on 03/22/2008 6:57:50 PM PDT by NewRomeTacitus
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To: NewRomeTacitus; wardaddy

Sounds like Wardaddy car washes are not the kind that need a Mexican village worth of towel jockeys to dry off the cars. Car wash operations vary and in Southern California I guess they are illegal alien labor intensive

You missed my point that in So Cal the owners who employ the illegals are surprise surprise surprise......legal immigrants. And since they have no qualms hiring illegals you better believe they are cheating on taxes in this cash business.

Once more proving my point that so so often the employer of illegals is a legal immigrant. That’s how many get richer than the native born


26 posted on 03/22/2008 8:52:45 PM PDT by dennisw (Never bet on a false prophet! <<<||>>> Never bet on Islam!)
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To: NewRomeTacitus

Thanks for the kind words hoss.


27 posted on 03/23/2008 9:06:06 AM PDT by wardaddy (Obama: The candidate for those who think Deliverance was a documentary.)
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To: Who dat?

Obviously people are more likely to be tossing around money like there is no tomorrow at a wedding or at a casino than at a car wash.


28 posted on 03/23/2008 9:49:04 AM PDT by wideminded
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To: dennisw

Car wash operations vary and in Southern California I guess they are illegal alien labor intensive.

Most of them are hand wash.
S. Californians don’t like spinning brushes touching their cars.


29 posted on 03/24/2008 6:47:43 PM PDT by philetus (Keep doing what you always do and you'll keep getting what you always get.)
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