New York City carwashes harbour some of the most exploitative labour practices in the city. State law sets carwash workers’ hourly minimum wage at nearly three dollars below the state minimum – US$7.25 per hour in 2012, when carwash workers began organising. Employers are expected to pay workers the difference in tips, but minimum wage violations are rampant in this cash-run and largely unregulated industry. A 2008 New York Department of Labour report found 78% of investigated carwash operators violated minimum-wage laws, depriving workers of more than US$6.5 million (Smith, 2008). Compounding already precarious working conditions, many carwasheros, as some workers call themselves, are undocumented immigrants, a vulnerability employers prey upon by threatening to call immigration when workers begin to organise (Center for Popular Democracy, 2013).