Cintas recently settled a class action suit for $6.5 million that alleged it violated the Living Wage Ordinance in the City of Los Angeles. Over 500 Cintas workers, represented by Workers/United SEIU, a union that represents 70 percent of California’s laundry workers, are slated to receive overdue back wages. In the settlement $3.3 million will be going towards worker back wages and interest and an additional $250,000 will be paid as penalties. Additionally, Cintas will pay over $2.6 million in legal fees for the class action suit which was initially filed in 2004.
SOMERVILLE, MA. — Over 400 laundry workers at Angelica Corporation are striking for what they call a fair contract. Negotiations between the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 1445 representing the workers, and the company stalled on the provision of a living wage and improved benefits, including parental leave and affordable healthcare. Of the 450 workers, mostly immigrants, only 23 did not join the strike on the first day.
WICHITA FALLS, Texas — Washex’s Wichita Falls plant recently closed its doors and laid off an undetermined amount of employees. According to The Times Record News, a Wichita Falls newspaper, direct deposit payroll checks were issued to some Washex employees but transactions to the accounts at one bank were reversed. It is unknown if the company has ceased business operations. Laundry Today’s attempts to contact Washex officials were unsuccessful.
Since October 2000, Washex has been owned by the parent company of Lavatec Inc., Lavatec AG, a manufacturer of heavy-duty laundry equipment based in Germany. Lavatec, headquartered in Naugatuck, Connecticut, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July.
HARTFORD, Conn. — Ameripride was fined over half a million dollars in a settlement of federal charges of violations of state and federal clean water rules at its Hartford plant.
The complaint included allegations that the laundry wastewater violated its state permit on discharge for a number of pollutants — including oil and grease, and zinc, lead, and copper.
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A Gruesome Laundry Surprise
PHOENIX, Ariz. — A body in a bin was discovered by employees at a Sodexo commercial laundry facility. The body arrived on a delivery truck from medical facilities in Tucson. Team members who were unloading the bins first noticed blood on the sheets then discovered the body in one of the bins. The man, a transient, had previously slept in the laundry-bag area near the Tucson medical facility. It is believed that the man either died from a medical condition or was suffocated by the plastic bags. The body showed no signs of trauma or foul play.