The 19-day sit-in at the popular Moore Street café and bakery ended today (Tuesday 10th June) after the Revenue Commissioners finally stepped in to wind up the company, allowing the workers to access the Insolvency Fund.
The Paris Bakery workers are owed over €100,000 in back wages and had called on the Government to intervene after owners Yannick Forel and Ruth Savill repeatedly refused to engage with them.
Edel McGinley, Director of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) said “On Friday May 23rd, we entered Paris Bakery with the workers to stop the owner removing assets from the premises before paying the wages they were owed. 19 days later, we’re delighted that the workers can finally get on with their lives.”
McGinley stated, “It is appalling that anyone should have to take such extreme measures to get money they already earned. We have a situation where employers can simply walk away from a business and leave workers high and dry. After Vita Cortex, La Senza and Paris Bakery, the Government cannot say they were unaware of this gap in the law.”
McGinley continued, “The majority of these workers are young migrants, who never expected to find themselves campaigning like this. They slept on the floor of the Bakery for 18 long nights; they reached out to politicians, civil servants and journalists, held a rally at the Dáil, travelled to Wicklow to protest outside Ruth Savill’s estate and won supporters from all over Ireland.”
“Their quiet resolve over the past weeks has been extraordinary. From the start, they were determined to prevent other workers from ending up in this situation – we hope this inspires the Government to close the loophole for good.”
McGinley concluded, “The current situation is clearly not good for workers, but it’s also not good for businesses. It’s bad for suppliers, who have to write off debts; it’s bad for wholesale customers, left without supplies; and it’s bad for other small businesses who are undercut by rogue traders like Forel and Savill. The Government as a matter of urgency needs to act and change the law.”
MRCI caseworkers will continue to provide practical support to the workers throughout the insolvency process.