Paris Bakery ('Phoenix Syndrome') - Order of Business
Posted on June 10, 2014
Order of Business, 4th June.
I ask the Leader to arrange a debate on the so-called phoenix syndrome exposed by the plight of the Paris Bakery workers from Moore Street who held a rally outside the Dáil earlier. This syndrome has been particularly marked in the restaurant industry, where employers abuse the principle of limited liability by closing down businesses and opening others under new brand or company names without paying outstanding debts to workers who are owed back payment of wages, holiday pay and so on. In the case of the Paris Bakery workers, they have been left owed some €100,000.
They have been occupying the Moore Street premises since 23 May. Attempts have been made to reach resolution with the owners. Mandate and the Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland, among others, are supporting the workers but there is a bigger issue here of companies closing and failing to engage in an orderly winding down process to enable priority debts to be paid. This is a very serious difficulty and a number of other companies have engaged in similar tactics. We must examine how best to resolve issues for the workers, for example the insolvency payments scheme could be used to pay workers owed money In these circumstances who face serious consequences as a result of lack of payment.