February 11, 2016
By Rocío Valerio, Labor Director New York Communities for Change
New York, NY – William "El Toro" Gomez, a carwash worker from E. 174th St. and Webster Ave., passed out at the car wash on Sunday January 31st. He was hospitalized and released at 5 in the morning on Tuesday February 2nd. Two hours later he was found dead. William's passing is extremely tragic, and we want to support Gomez's family in El Salvador.
William's death is a mystery to us, we do know that the chemicals carwasheros are exposed to are dangerous. We know carwasheros have to work long hours and have little to no time to visit a doctor's office. We know that the owner and management did nothing to help him.
This is a moment of sadness and rage for many of us. William, was young and strong, full of dreams, and a true revolutionary. A strong union supporter, he carried the thirst for justice from El Salvador, where he was an organizer. In the Bronx, his car wash was the second in New York City to form a union.
Every time we asked him if he was ready, he would reply "victory or death". William is survived by his wife and daughter in El Salvador. It's sad to say, but he never got to meet his daughter.
We hope that many of you are able to support and stand in solidarity with William, and many other low-wage workers who are literally dying for their wages.