Skip to comments.Inspectors find dirt on books at Southern Calif. carwashes
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 ...
Gee, I wonder how they pay for their food, housing, healthcare and education for their kids? /s
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.
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.
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.
Thats a problem?
Tell you what I worked as a limousine driver and also worked as a valet at a casino. I cant 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.
Thats 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 werent uncommon (though it didnt 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 dont try to hamstring employers and have them do the federal governments work on their behalf for free particularly when theyre paying top-dollar for the privilege.
Thats how thats going to work. Just watch.
"Carwashero" is taking Spanglish just a wee bit too far.
There were few English speaking people around. I doubt they were paid better then.
Until enforcement of immigration and employment laws becomes a credible deterrent to cheating, employers will continue to depend on illegal labor.
Tough working for tips. Maybe they should find work at home.
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
sing it with the feeling now
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
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
On three occasions at the casino some guy flipped me a $500 chip. $100 chips werent uncommon (though it didnt 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.
just doing the jobs Americans won’t do....for slave wages...
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”
Just as soon as the government(ie taxpayer) gets out of the 'subsidizing' health care & educational benefits for illegal aliens.
“...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?
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!
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
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.
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.
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
Thanks for the kind words hoss.
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.
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.