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Paris Bakery owners run crying to the Herald

category dublin | worker & community struggles and protests | news report author Wednesday May 28, 2014 13:13author by Andrew - WSM Report this post to the editors

The Herald contains a bizarre full page whinge from the owner of the Paris Bakery about how the publicity their failure to pay their workers received has 'destroyed my life.' It's heartening as the occupation enters its 6th day to see that both Yannick Forel and Ruth Savill have come under enough pressure from the workers to feel the need to make public statements. But they need to meet with the workers and make arrangements to pay the estimated 130,000 in wages owed.

The Herald today
The Herald today

While they might well feel that the publicity around their failure to pay the wages is hard on them how much harder is it on their workers who have found themselves owed months of wages and have now had to sleep on the bakery floor for 5 nights. Workers who in some cases have been made homeless by this failure to pay wages owed. Until they pay those wages they should expect to be under pressure and for that pressure to increase.

Paris Bakery workers are now in their 6th day of occupation demanding that they are paid the wages they are owed. Mark reported that "Former worker just walked in to ParisBakery and is still owed €15,000 following labour court decision" Shane who has also been staying overnight with the workers said among those giving them support were "the Migrants Rights Centre, Mandate and the Plasterers Union."

Monday night the workers said "It's been a long day. In the afternoon, Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton and Minister of State for Trade and Development Joe Costello visited us. They listened to our issues and Minister Burton promised to help us to access emergency support. RTÉ News filmed the meeting.

Then, Yannick agreed to meet MRCI representatives - but he refused to meet with the workers. He is still just saying that he and Ruth won't pay us.

We are settling in for another night now. It is a struggle to stay positive.

We can't believe we have to do this just to get wages we have already worked for. It's unfair we are parents humans and hard workers that need our paid..."

Related Link:
author by Tpublication date Fri May 30, 2014 00:16Report this post to the editors

he workers have been left without wages and are occupying until they find justice. Union representatives had choice words for the visiting Ministers and left them in no doubt that this better be more than a photo opportunity following a disastrous election weekend for Labour. Results are needed for these workers, now.

Transcript follows from the 5th minute of video:

John Douglas, President Irish Congress Trade Unions:

We brought this to Govt’s attention years ago. Connolly Shoes workers in DL who were on strike for the last 3 years still haven’t got their money from the insolvency fund. We’ve had to go to the extraordinary lengths of winding the company up ourselves in the High Court. You’ve had workers sitting-in Vita Cortex, workers sitting-in in La Senza, sitting-in in HMV.

All the cards are stacked against workers. Employers can walk away and leave workers high and dry without any wages and leave them in a legal limbo. The state needs to open up the Insolvency Fund. It needs to believe workers rather than believe employers. It needs to open the Insolvency fund, give workers direct access, emergency access to the insolvency fund and emergency access to social welfare.

These people are destitute. They’ve no money for rent, they’ve no money to feed their children, they’re sleeping on the floor here, they’re being fed by the Dublin public and the government needs to act and act now as a matter of urgency.

This is well known to the government for the last two years, so with all due respect, this company is not insolvent and that’s the problem because once you don’t go insolvent or issue a letter that the directors are insolvent these people won’t get a penny. Not one penny. They’ll be waiting three years and four years and that’s just not fair and it needs action, it needs action now.

Billy Wall, Plasterers’ Union:

There was a liability owed to the Revenue Commissioners during all of this and it goes back as far as 2011. The company…one of the directors within the company has removed assets and I know that the assets are listed..they’re worth about six hundred thousand. So unless the Revenue were to move in here and petition the company for insolvency through the courts – that’s one way for the state to recover some of it’s debt and for these workers then to recover the money that they’re owed [through] the various pieces of legislation.

The records show that…this company tried to remove the auditor, the actual auditor and the Companies’ Registration Office refused them. Legislation needs to be amended that when an employer refuses to pay a worker his wages, or her wages it should be a criminal offence. If an employer was to hand one of these workers their wages and the worker put it in to their locker and their employer opened their locker and took it, that’s theft. That is theft and the legislation needs to be amended.

More coverage at

Caption: Video by Mark Malone

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