The UK’s hand car washes tend to be extremely competitive with pricing, but they have also been linked to modern slavery. Are they ever fair for workers?
One night in August 2015, after a long shift at the Bubbles car wash in east London, Sandu Laurentiu was washing himself in the rat-infested shared flat provided by his employer. Shaip Nimani, 53, originally from Kosovo, had illegally bypassed the electricity meter at the property in Bethnal Green and tampered with the fuses to stop them blowing. The plumbing in the damp bathroom was not earthed. While he used the decrepit power shower, Laurentiu was electrocuted and killed.