bbc file on 4

Gordon Balmer, executive director of the Car Wash Association (CWA),la has praised the BBC’s File on 4 programme for investigating modern slavery on hand car wash sites.

Balmer said it was very positive to see the BBC taking on the task of exposing modern slavery and creating awareness about the issue. He added that material provided by the CWA contributed to their in-depth research.

“The investigation featured testimonials from many individuals who came to the UK with the promise of fair wages but were instead subjected to salaries below the minimum wage, abuse, violence and excessively long working hours. It highlights the urgency to address this issue, as modern slavery should have no place in our society.

“The investigation also highlighted a lack of interest from the government in addressing the issue. We have consistently urged the government to prioritise the establishment of a Single Enforcement Body (SEB) and the enforcement of a National Licensing Scheme based on the Responsible Car Wash Scheme (RCWS) Code of Practice. These vital measures are essential in creating a fair and regulated environment within the car wash industry.

“We are deeply concerned about the persisting presence of non-compliant hand car washes that operate illegally, disregarding health and safety. Eliminating modern slavery must be an urgent political and moral priority for the government. The Car Wash Association will continue advocating for the rights of victims and lobbying the government until decisive action is taken to solve this issue.”