Emma Dent Coad MP supports Freddy & Angelica

Emma Dent Coad MP for the borough of Kensinton where HR Owen's Ferrari and Maserati showrooms are located - has just written to HR Owen in solidarity with UVW members Freddy and Angelica who were recently unlawfully suspended after voting to strike for a living wage, calling on them to "meet the UVW to resolve this dispute and return them to work on the London Living Wage without delay".

NB: Emma is the one who in the 2017 elections snatched the borough for Labour from the Conservaties for the first time in the constituency's history.

 

Emma Dent Coad.jpg

Read about the Ferrari 2 in the Guardian

Guardian coverage of the cleaners inspirational fight for the living wage at HR Owen's Ferrari and Maserati dealerships and their disgraceful and unlawful suspensions for having joined a union, and voted to strike for a living wage.

"...Although the work is arduous and has left them struggling with health problems, they enjoyed their jobs and went home each night proud of the sparkling showroom. But when they turned up for work last Thursday they were met by their bosses – who they had never previously met – ordered to hand over their showroom keys and were suspended without pay.

The suspension came two days after they voted to walk out on strike after their employer refused requests for an increase to their £7.50-an-hour minimum wage.

“We did not have a single complaint in five years,” Valencia Bolanos, 49, said. “Now, when we join a union, and ask for a fair amount of money – enough to live in this expensive city – they want us out....”

You can read the whole story here

Great Protest at H R Owen

United Voices of the World (UVW) trade union protested against Kensington luxury car dealers HR Owen and demanded they reinstate their two cleaners suspended without pay because they asked to be paid a the London living wage for cleaning the Ferrari / Maserati showrooms. Cleaners Angelica Valencia and Freddy Lopez were supported by the UVW, and other groups including Class War and the RCG. Around a hundred protesters marched from South Kensington station, protesting briefly outside the Lamborghini showrooms and office entrance to HR Owen, before marching down the Old Brompton Road for a lengthy and noisy protest with speeches, chanting, drumming and dancing outside the Ferrari showroom, blocking the road for around two hours. A row of security men from Templewood who employ the Ferrari cleaners stood outside the building. Both Templewood and HR Owen have denied responsibility for paying low wages and the UVW is pursuing legal claims for unlawful deductions from wages and breach of minimum wage legislation on behalf of the two cleaners."

 

See the pictures of the protest here on our facebook page.

Read more about it in this article in the Guardian.

CLEANERS TO STRIKE FOR A LIVING WAGE AT FERRARI

Say hello to Freddy and Angelica, the inspiring husband and wife duo from Ecuador who, for the last 5 years, have been cleaning and polishing the Ferrari and Maserati dealerships in South Kensington run by H.R. Owen - Britain's leading luxury motor dealer, and the world's largest retailer in Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti.

Despite a turnover of around £400 million HR Owen chooses to outsource the cleaners to a company call Templewood where they are condemned, like millions of other workers, to the indignity and impoverishment of the minimum wage.

Furthermore, the cleaners have for years been systematically underpaid even the miserable wages they were owed which has led to legal proceedings being instigated against Templewood and HR Owen for unlawful deductions from wages and breach of minimum wage legislation.

Having finally decided enough was enough the cleaners joined UVW and asked for a wage increase from £7.50 per hour to the London Living Wage of £9.75 per hour. However, both Templewood and HR Owen have denied responsibility for setting the cleaners' rate of pay. This is a common occurrence in the world of outsourcing where the Bermuda-like-triangle between the worker the client and the contractor swallows both employer's responsibilities and workers' rights.

Unwilling to entertain Templewood and HR Owen's excuses or endure the indignity of the minimum wage for any longer, Freddy and Angelica asked UVW to ballot them for strike action.

Following a Yes vote an indefinite strike is expected to commence on 9th October.

Unlike at the LSE University where UVW recently organised over 70 cleaners to walk out on strike, making it then the largest cleaners' strike in UK history, Freddy and Angelica work alone at HR Owen's Ferrari and Maserati dealerships.

There being only two of them would lead many people to argue that there was nothing they could do about their situation, that the company will never listen or concede to them, especially as they are non-English speaking migrant cleaners.

Well, at UVW we don't care if you have one colleague or a 100 colleagues. If you're on the minimum wage or suffer from any other form of injustice and are fed up and up for a fight we'll ballot and back you all the way.

Furthermore, when Freddy and Angelica win they will lift hundreds of other outsourced workers at HR Owen off the minimum wage and out of in-work poverty.

To support Freddy and Angelica please make a donation to their strike fund if you can - https://www.uvwunion.org.uk/hr-owen/

Freddy and Angelica - before strike pic.jpg