Freddy & Angelica cleaned Ferrari & Maserati showrooms for 12 years combined, before demanding the London Living Wage


THE crime scene

H.R. Owen is an official dealer of Ferrari, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Maserati, Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Aston Martin with £400m of annual turnover.  Their top showrooms are in South Kensington, a short walk from Harrods.  New Ferraris sell for over £200k, while the Formula One-inspired "La Ferrari" was priced upwards of £1million.

The campaign

Freddy and Angelica are a married couple from Ecuador, who despite being the only cleaners in two local supercar showrooms, are employed on zero-hour contracts by a different company — Templewood Group.  When they requested a raise to the London Living Wage (they were being paid even less than minimum wage, after deductions that were legally contested) the blame game started.  The showroom said cleaners' pay was Templewood's responsibility, while Templewood said their hands were tied by the outsourcing contract.

one roadbump and victory in record 0-60

Only two workers to ballot for strike action resulted in an easy 100% in favour, but this unfortunately led to both of their suspensions.  UVW without hesitation announced legal proceedings, and a protest passing the Lamborghini showroom towards the Ferrari showroom was attended by 100 supporters.  Shortly after, Freddy and Angelica were officially sacked after rejecting a small wage increase to £7.50p/h.  A surprise Halloween flashmob sent the signal that UVW were going nowhere, and the pair were then reinstated with a better (but insufficient) wage offer that again, was rejected.  Finally, with the threat of another demonstration and yet more negative media coverage, the London Living Wage was immediately granted.

Special thanks to Emma Dent Coad MP, Roger Godsiff MP, Jenny Jones & Jonathan Bartley

Relive the HR Owen campaign in multimedia!

This campaign was reported in the Guardian (6th + 31st Oct. 2017), Metro (28th Sept. 2017), (28th Sept. 2017) and Daily Mail (30th Sept. 2017)