FORMER staff of the Paris Bakery on Dublin’s Moore Street have staged a sit-in at the premises and last night vowed to stay there until they are paid what they claim is €130,000 in outstanding wages.
Six former staff of the former French bakery and restaurant, along with members of the trade union Mandate and activists from the Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland (MRCI), began a lock-in yesterday afternoon when former owner Yannick Forel arrived to remove fixtures from the site.
Despite a public campaign to save the popular eatery, the facility is to be demolished in order to make way for a shopping centre.
The staff and activists gained access to the building using the same back-lane entrance once used as an escape route for Padraig Pearse and other leaders of the 1916 Rising.
At teatime last night, about seven gardai were at the scene to keep order.
The former bakery closed on Tuesday after its lease expired in June. It had employed about 70 workers.
Mr Forel claimed he has personally lost €3m in the venture but hoped to re-locate elsewhere.
However, he would not elaborate on his plans.
Former sous chef Anissa Hosany (28), who worked at the bakery for close to three years, said she is owed about €4,000 in back wages on top of outstanding holiday and redundancy pay.
“They’ve been saying for a very long time that they will pay in two weeks, they’ll pay in one week. And every time I’ll get maybe €500,” she said. “We are going to stay here until we get paid.”
Mandate trade union general secretary John Douglas said he and other trade union activists plan to stay at the bakery overnight and into the weekend if necessary. He said they would stay “as long as it takes” for the workers to get paid.
But Mr Yannick said he intends to pay the workers and denied he is leaving them high-and-dry. “It’s not my fault,” he told
“I lost €3m myself and all of my work for the past five years.
“You think I am happy about that? You think I don’t have shame?
“For six months I can’t sleep. I am an honest person and two times I’ve been in the same situation (as the workers).”