For Immediate Release
July 19, 2021
Washing for Dignity and Safety on the Job: Workers in the NJ Retail Laundromat Industry
When: July 21st @ 12:00 PM EST
Where: 35 Cleveland St, Orange, NJ 07050
What: Despite being deemed essential during the COVID-19 crisis, laundry workers in New Jersey remain largely invisible, unprotected from violations of their basic human and labor rights, and excluded from pandemic economic relief. During the fall 2020, the Laundry Workers Center started surveying workers at the retail laundromat industry across New Jersey. Laundry workers face customer aggression, discrimination, unsafe working conditions, and much more. There is a discrepancy in the amount of labor laundromat workers put in compared to the pay and benefits they actually receive.
Findings from the survey include:
Workers that were interviewed state that “there are days where I can’t find 15 minutes to rest. I don’t get a break and they only pay me 9 dollars per hour for over 45 hours without any overtime pay.” Others are “scared to get sick because of all the risks I am exposed to. Different people enter every day, and my employers only provide one facemask each week. I have to buy them in order to be ok.”
A report by the Laundry Workers Center and the Cornell ILR Worker Institute examines the work and socio-economic conditions of workers in the retail laundromat industry in New Jersey. This study’s aims are to raise awareness among stakeholders about the challenges that laundry workers face, to inform policy and advocacy efforts to improve labor standards and workplace safety in this industry, and to promote gender and racial equity for this largely neglected workforce.
All press and members of the public are welcome to attend.
Rosanna Rodriguez, Co-Executive Director of the LWC
Mahoma Lopez, Co-Executive Director of the LWC
Gloria Guerrero, former laundromat worker and organizer for the LWC
Gaudencia Ramirez, Laundromat worker
Maria Figueroa, Director of Labor and Policy Research at the ILR Worker Institute
Dr. Patricia Campos-Medina, Executive Director of the ILR Worker Institute
Yarrow Williams, NJ Time to Care Coalition and Workplace Justice Program Director
For further details contact: Rosanna Rodriguez, firstname.lastname@example.org