Monday 18 December 2017

Bakery staff win pay battle after
 their 19-day sit-in

Paris Bakery staff. Photo: Damien Eagers
Paris Bakery staff. Photo: Damien Eagers

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for the 25 Paris Bakery workers on Moore Street as the High Court has appointed a liquidator to the company.

Yesterday, the High Court wound up Paris Bakery and Pastry Ltd after an intervention by the Revenue Commissioner following a 19-day sit-in by the bakeries workers.

The ruling means that the 25 workers will now be able to access the insolvency fund.

The company owes over €150,000 in wages and entitlements to the workers after employers Yannick Forel and Ruth Savill locked them out on May 23, refusing to pay them or wind the company up.


"Of course we are happy we have achieved half of our goal. The judge made a good decision," Eduard Claihnet, a former chef at the bakery, told the Herald.

However, Migrants Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) told the Herald that they are now calling on the insolvency fund to be fast-tracked.

"There's a six to eight-months' backlog in accessing the insolvency fund and we urge that it is fast-tracked so that the workers can access it as soon as possible," said Edel McGinley of MRCI.

Mr Claihnet is in urgent need of his wages as he is still looking for a job.

"Next week I am on the streets, I'm still searching for a job and I need to pay my rent," he said.

Other former employees at the Moore Street bakery believe their cause will help other 
workers in their situation.

Anissa Hosany, a chef with the bakery for more than three years, said: "We know that this happens to lots of other workers. We want our experience to help make the situation better for others."

The former staff are now calling on the Government to make sure that the same thing does not happen again.

"The Government needs to act quickly to change the law so that business owners can't simply walk away from their failed businesses," said Ms Hosany.

On June 4, the workers, who had been sleeping in the premises for two weeks, called on the Taoiseach to allow them access emergency funds.

The workers, who were joined by around 200 supporters, stood outside the Dail and called on the Government to take action and close the legal loophole that has prevented staff from accessing state 
insolvency funds.

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton and Trade Minister Joe Costello joined the workers at their sit-in last month.

Mr Forel said in May that the whole situation had destroyed his life.


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