Flash Coffee ex-staff will not receive owed salaries so soon, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Flash Coffee ex-staff will not receive owed salaries so soon

Former employees of the Singapore arm of coffee start-up Flash Coffee will not receive any owed salaries in the near term as the process of liquidating the company here “will take some time”.

Ms Julie Cheong, president of the Food, Drinks and Allied Workers’ Union (FDAWU), gave this notice of what lies ahead for those affected in an update on Tuesday, more than a week after the company abruptly closed all 11 of its outlets islandwide.

In her update, she also said the FDAWU is assisting the former employees with filing their cases of owed salaries with the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management, as well as with queries regarding the filing of proof of debt.

A proof of debt is a declaration made by a creditor to substantiate the debt the company owes them.

Under the law, employees of an insolvent company are entitled to be paid their wages and salaries, followed by retrenchment benefits and ex-gratia payments, in priority of other unsecured creditors.

This payment is subject to a limit of five months’ salary, or $13,000, whichever is lower.

Those the union spoke to on Oct 13 reported being owed salaries, Central Provident Fund contributions and encashment for unused leave, Ms Cheong had said in a statement that day.

The former employees were told at a meeting on Oct 12 that the company had been placed on provisional liquidation and their services were terminated effective that day.

A video showing Flash Coffee’s shuttered Jurong Point outlet began circulating on TikTok on Oct 12 as well.

The video showed a poster apparently put up by the outlet’s staff, stating that they were “on strike” due to “several late salary payouts”.

However, Ms Cheong said in her previous statement that those the union spoke to on Oct 13 reported “no explicit plans to put up any coordinated action” after they were informed of the company’s situation.

Flash Coffee is not unionised here.

A company spokesman said on Oct 13 that Flash Coffee has about 200 outlets globally, and decided to cease operations here to “further consolidate our future efforts and to double down on our most promising markets”.

The Singapore unit, which listed Flash Coffee co-founders David Brunier and Sebastian Hannecker as its directors, filed notice on Oct 12 that it is unable to continue its business due to liabilities.

It filed for a voluntary winding-up, and was placed under provisional liquidation. BDO Advisory has been appointed as the company’s liquidator.

ST understands a creditors’ meeting is set to be held on or before Nov 10.

In her update, Ms Cheong also said the union assisted the former employees with job matching, with several of them currently undergoing interviews with companies who have contacted the union.

Details of the National Trades Union Congress’ Union Training Assistance Programme for subsidised training have also been shared with union members who worked for the company, she added.

She also said the FDAWU is working with Flash Coffee’s former area manager to share with workers previously under his care about the labour movement support they can tap.

Start-UpsretrenchmentBUSINESS CLOSURES