Supporting the protest rally today outside the Dáil of the Paris Bakery workers who are two weeks into their occupation of the premises on Moore Street, newly elected Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger said:
The manner in which these workers have been robbed of their jobs and their wages going back three months demonstrates a level of employer criminality which the system essentially tolerates.
The withholding of wages by the employers is theft pure and simple. Their assets and private wealth should be seized, quickly disposed of by auction and the workers fully compensated not just for wages owed but additionally compensated for the stress and hardship they have endured forcing them to engage in this occupation.
Joe Higgins TD added:
The enforcement of workers’ rights, even when there are laws in place is feeble to say the least. Questions I and others have put to the Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Employment over the years have shown time and again long waiting times for Employment Appeals Tribunal hearings, Rights Commissioner hears and even where these bodies and NERA find in favour of employees the bosses often get away with not paying the wages and compensations owed.
So we need further rights enshrined for workers that allow for the rapid seizure of employer assets and wealth in cases like the Paris Bakery dispute but furthermore we need strong union organisation on the ground to ensure that rights won do not remain a dead letter.