When Covid-19 hit New York City, many laundromats found themselves in a problematic condition regarding their workplace. Our organizations conducted an internal survey, and more than 70 percent did not receive protective equipment, or when they requested protection, the employer retaliated against the workers. In New Giant Laundromat, when Beatriz Ramirez spoke out about the lack of safety in the workplace, the employer fired her. Mrs. Ramirez, a member of the LWC, decided that the best tool she had was to organize the workplace and the community.
Beatriz went through the leadership institute of LWC, and for five months, she fought against unjust mistreatment in the workplace. In 2020, Beatriz won her campaign! The agreement included the reinstatement of Mr. Ramirez in her job and also the payment of the stolen wages. As Beatriz mentioned: “the best tool we have is to organize to win.” Today, Beatriz is a vital leader of the Laundry Workers Center, organizing retail laundromat workers in New York City.