Let’s hear it for the laundromat employees – some of the forgotten essential workers

Laundromat workers are essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis.

News 12 Staff

May 4, 2020, 11:37 PM

Updated 1,449 days ago


As New Jersey deals with the COVID-19 lockdown, there has been a lot of attention and praise paid toward certain groups of essential workers.
Doctors, nurses, police officers and grocery store clerks have all gotten a lot of attention and thanks – rightfully so – for their hard work during the crisis. But there are other groups of essential workers that aren’t getting as much recognition. One being laundromat workers.
“Now because people are home all day, they’re washing everything in their house. So, last Tuesday we had 1,000 pounds of laundry,” says Bertie Williams, a worker at the 1st Street Wash and Dry in Bayonne.
Williams works at the laundromat for a few hours every day. She says that she is not too worried about getting sick.
“We have gloves and things. I’m not worried about it,” she says
Williams says that before this crisis, she never thought of herself as an essential worker.
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“But now I do. Now I think my job is very essential because not everybody can do their own laundry. They have three or four kids at home. They go and take it all to the laundromat. Or they are disabled or elderly, or whatever,” she says. “I just wash people’s clothes. But now, I see myself as somebody who is necessary to society. This job is necessary to society.”
Employees and managers at the laundromat say that they have not had any issues with people not maintaining social distance. Many wait outside or in a park close by while waiting for their laundry to be done.

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