Carwash Owners Sue New York City Over New Surety Bond Rules

October 22, 2015

A group of carwash owners have filed a lawsuit against New York City charging a new law illegally favors unionized carwashes.

The Association of Car Wash Owners lawsuit centers on rules that require owners of nonunionized carwashes to post $150,000 surety bond before obtaining a license. Unionized operations pay only $30,000.

The association says the two-tiered system is illegal.

Association attorney Michael Cardozo tells The New York Times the rule gives those who have collective bargaining a competitive edge.

He says “governments can’t put their thumb on the scales of whether a company should unionize or not unionize.”

The union-supported Car Wash Campaign, which represents community groups, said the $150,000 bond is “designed to secure worker wages against wage theft, and to protect consumers and possible creditors.”

The city Law Department says it will review the merits of the complaint but believes the law serves to protect low-wage workers.

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