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Row over staff wages 'resolved' at Belfast's Cuan Cafe

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Barbara and John Paul Whearty

Barbara and John Paul Whearty

Barbara and John Paul Whearty

A dispute between businesswoman and media pundit Barbara Whearty and Unite The Union over unpaid wages to her former employees has been resolved.

Last week Sunday Life revealed Ms Whearty had angered former staff at her Cuan Cafe in Belfast by opening a new business premises in Whitehead, Co Antrim, while they remained owed money.

Unite said "the expansion jars with former employees who had been seeking payment of money owed for months" and the revelations sparked a storm on social media.

Now her husband and part-time operations director for her company, John-Paul Whearty, says the matters have been resolved and all staff have been paid what they are owed following the move to Whitehead and receipt of a government bounce back loan.

The LAD founder also explained the couple's decision to open a café, Arden's of Whitehead, on Kings Road in the town.

He said: "I'm happy to say all the staff have been paid and the business has been saved, my wife will continue to do what she's doing there, so that's good.

"The reason we went to Whitehead was because we spotted a beautiful Edwardian building in Whitehead by the sea and we saw an opportunity to save the staff who worked for us. It was the perfect opportunity and also within our budget. We came to Whitehead to save our business and we did that because it's a very welcoming place.

"All that stuff that gets said to me online, I take it, but all I'm asking people is to leave my wife alone, she had no part to play in it and she is actually somebody that we should be looking towards as an inspiration.

"Our business in Whitehead is going to be a conduit for what's good, it's an area with huge potential which has been overlooked."

Belfast Telegraph