Target: Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York
Goal: Praise Governor for addressing unfair labor practices at nail salons in New York.
In response to a New York Times investigation into alleged illegal wage practices and severe safety concerns at New York’s nail salons, Governor Cuomo announced that the state will conduct a thorough salon-by-salon investigation and implement new rules aimed at protecting the vulnerable workers in this industry.
The New York Times investigation revealed a disturbing picture. New York’s nail salon industry is rife with poor immigrant laborers unable to effectively challenge their abysmal work conditions, and unsympathetic nail salon owners who withhold workers’ wages and are wholly indifferent to health hazards.
The investigation found that it is not uncommon for many nail salon employees to work without pay for the first few weeks of work and then receive daily salaries that can be $30 (or lower) for a 12 hour workday. Overtime pay goes largely unpaid. These employees desperately require the government to step in and regulate their working conditions when private employers are unwilling to provide the necessary protections for their workers.
Further, the New York Times investigation revealed that many nail salon workers are exposed to toxic chemicals in the instruments of their trade (e.g. polishes, cleaners, etc.) that are known to cause birth defects, skin conditions, and severe respiratory problems. Gov. Cuomo’s investigation into these practices will assess toxicity of these chemicals and will possibly result a ban on certain nail salon products.
Please support this petition by praising the Governor’s decision to create better working conditions for nail salon workers in New York.
Dear Governor Cuomo,
I applaud your swift action in launching a rigorous investigation into labor abuses within New York’s nail salon industry.
The poor immigrant women from various third world nations who largely represent the laborers in this industry are at risk for extreme exploitation at the hands of the nail salon owners. Government regulation is singularly the most effective option. No action could instill the correct amount of fear in these offending nail salon owners better than what you propose — a salon-by-salon investigation. Peering into the individual workings of each nail salon will exact the maximum amount of accountability and transparency and will correct any illegal labor practices.
Given time, these investigations will work to slowly dismantle the pervading culture of fear, silence and powerlessness amongst the nail salon employees. Thank you for your consideration of the marginalized workers in this industry. You have my full support in investigating nails salons in New York for unfair labor practices.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Wikimedia user – Robsonsce User