Paris Bakery workers to meet owner over unpaid wages

Staff and former staff begin fourth day of occupation of Moore Street premises

Staff and former staff of the Paris Bakery on Dublin’s Moore Street are expected to meet the owner of the business today to discuss wages owed to them.

The business, which had been due to leave the Moore Street premises at the end of June as the landlord had indicated it would not renew the lease, has been closed to customers since last Wednesday.

Workers arrived at the building that morning to speak to the owner about what they estimate is about €55,000 owed to them. The owner, Yannick Forel, has told the Irish Times, however, he estimates about €130,000 is owed in total.

He and his co-director Ruth Savill have said they do not have the money to pay the workers, many of whom are migrants. One young French man had been sleeping in a room above the shop for several days because he could not afford to pay his rent.


The staff occupied the premises on Friday and they have been sleeping there since. Among those who have visited the bakery to offer support were Socialist Party MEP Paul Murphy and Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams.

Plasterers’ trade union OPATSI, which has one member among the workers, said that if the owners refused to pay the workers their wages following a proposed meeting today, Monday, that the union would “escalate matters”.

Union officials have been supporting the workers in recent days.

" One of our members is employed by the bakery and called in the union in an effort to resolve the ongoing issue of none payment of wages," the union's president Sean Irwin said.

Mr Irwin said the bakery’s management was “treating these workers as if the law did not apply to them”.

He welcomed the visit to the bakery by Mr Adams “a commitment to the workers”.

The employees have also placed placards outside the home of Ms Savill in Wicklow.

OPATSI's general secretary Billy Wall, who spoke with Mr Forel on Wednesday last week said, he had "dismissed the workers off hand for over an hour and tried to blame the workers for his mismanagement of the bakery".

The union official said he hoped to bring the workers to the Department of Social Protection "to see if we can raise funds for them on the basis that they are not receiving wages and are in dispute with their employer".

The union called on the Government to amend legislation in order to make it a criminal offence for employers not to pay their workers their wages and entitlements.

Mr Forel told the Irish Times on Friday he wanted to pay the workers and that he was in negotiations to sell his share of the business to a larger company.