On June 26, 2018 the Laundry Workers Center released “Report on Working Conditions in the Retail Laundromat Industry at the Worker Institute” at Cornell University. This report details the working conditions of laundromat workers in New York City: a fragmented and often isolated workforce that has long flown under the radar of labor organizers. The report findings show that surveyed workers—the large majority of whom were immigrant women of color—face a range of issues including low wages, lack of time off, workplace harassment, and workplace safety hazards. The report also makes the case that, as inherently social places that bring together diverse community members, laundromats have unique potential for worker organizing and for fostering community dialogue about workers’ rights.
TakeRoot Justice supported the Laundry Workers Center in the design and implementation of this participatory research project, which included observations at 100 laundromats and nearly 100 worker surveys. The report includes recommendations to improve health and safety conditions for laundromat workers, and a call to action for laundromat workers to organize.
Read the full report