LOS ANGELES: Carwasheros and the immigrant economy

Covered this story yesterday, about carwash workers suing a family that owns three car washes in the area.

There’s been several of these lawsuits lately, all alleging the same practices at different car washes: non-payment of overtime, breaks denied, pay records falsified, etc.

The story again showed how much of the LA economic ecosystem is made up so entirely of immigrants. Immigrant business owners; immigrant workers. Often the customers are immigrants. Such a major change in only a few decades.

Also, many of the Westside carwash workers come from one town — Libres, in the state of Puebla, Mexico. In occasionally covering this issue over the last few months, I’ve run into many from that town. They assure me that hundreds of men and women from Libres work in the carwash industry, particularly in Santa Monica, Palos Verdes, Malibu, Venice, and similar areas.

The guy I spoke to for the story, Marcial Hernandez, was one of them.


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