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  Issue No 108 Official Organ of LaborNet 24 August 2001  

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News

Westfield Squeezes The Extra Dollar


Retail workers employed at Westfield Liverpool are fuming at the shopping centre's renewed hostile bid to secure paid parking arrangements.

The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association, New South Wales Branch is leading a coalition of workers, retailers, local community and politicians to block Westfield's greedy development application to legally charge workers $240 per year to provide safe parking.

Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association, New South Wales Branch Secretary Greg Donnelly has called on Council to dismiss Westfield's unfair application.

"It is astounding that Westfield seeks to squeeze retail workers for safe parking when they attend work. Westfield is only looking after Westfield in this matter. Retail workers are entitled to safe parking at their workplace."

Referring to previous occasions when the parking operator at Westfield has charged staff $60 per month for parking, in contravention of the existing development consent, Mr Donnelly today said:

"Westfield failed to provide safe parking when illegal fees were imposed at $60 per month in previous years. Westfield made this current application whilst these illegal fees were in place. It is ridiculous to even suggest that a $1 per day legal fee will now address those safety issues, which its higher illegal fee failed to address before.

Safety is an absolute obligation that Westfield, as the proprietor of the complex, should provide without cost to the retail workers engaged there."

Mr Donnelly also stated that the local residents and businesses of Liverpool had as much at stake as the retail workers:

"Our independent research indicates that approximately 43% of retail workers will park on streets rather than pay a fee. Why should local residents and businesses suffer because Westfield seeks to squeeze revenue from retail workers to cover its safety and security obligations?"

Mr Donnelly is highly critical of Westfield's track record at other centres:

"This is little more than a ruse to introduce paid parking for the centre's employees. Westfield has failed to provide free, safe parking in previous years and now seek to Council's approval to provide safety and security at a "nominal" cost.

The SDA is familiar with Westfield's concept of "nominal" cost. Westfield introduced employee parking at a "nominal" cost at Parramatta a decade ago. The original fee was $1 per day. It is now $5.00 per day.

Westfield is not concerned with the planning implications, is not concerned with security and is not concerned with the economic welfare of retail workers. Westfield is concerned about increasing its massive profits even further.

On the 13th August, 2001, Westfield Holdings Limited, with shopping centre assets under management valued at $24.5 billion, announced an after-tax profit for the year to 30th June, 2001, of $169.1 million, up 14.0% on last year's result. (source: www.westfield.com.au)

Westfield's massive profits must be measured against the modest income of retail workers, especially working mothers and young women in the industry who rely upon travelling to work by car. The real agenda is to make those who work in the shopping centre pay a fee to park their car. These are the very people who serve the customers in the shops. They are the same people who help Westfield make their massive profits. This is a case of corporate greed gone wild. It is time for Council to lay this greedy application to rest once and for all.

The SDA will continue to lead the protest against Westfield's greedy paid parking application until it backs off permanently."

Last year, over 100 retail employees from Westfield Liverpool attended a Council meeting to vent their anger at Westfield's latest attempt to secure the "pay to work" scheme. The SDA anticipates that retail workers will once again gather in large numbers this Monday night, 27th August, 2001, to continue their protest when Liverpool Council once more considers Westfield's application.


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*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 108 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: The Man from Manusafe
Manusafe chief Andrew Whiley explains why employers have nothing to fear from the entitlements trust fund.
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*  E-Change: 2.4 The Skeptic’s Response
In this round-table discussion, Noel Hester leads the charge against the argument that globalisation and change are inevitable.
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*  Politics: No Hand Idle
Whitlam Institute director Peter Botsman finds much to agree with in John Howard's social coalition for welfare delivery.
*
*  Unions: Slavery and Struggle
A battle with all the elements of the infamous waterfront dispute is being played out in Charleston, South Carolina:
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*  International: Postcard from Santiago
The CFMEU's Phil Davey meets up with Communist Party cadres in Chile who led the underground resistance to Pinochet.
*
*  History: Race and Australian Labour.
Australian unionists have long been questioning notions of a “White Australia”, even before the colonies united with it as the central feature.
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*  Economics: Global Regulation
Public sector unions from around the globe are taking the first steps to work internationally against the deregulation agenda.
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*  Satire: Niche Identified in Left-Wing Publications Market
A marxist-feminist activist has discovered a gaping hole in the lucrative left-wing publications market.
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*  Review: The Fight for Equal Pay
In this extract from her new book, Zelda D'Aprano looks at the contribution Kath Williams made to the struggle for equality.
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News
»  Entitlements Just Tip of the Iceberg
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»  State-Wide Push for Entitlement Protection
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»  Support Builds for Industrial Manslaughter Laws
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»  Organiser Assaulted – Police Called In
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»  Young Casuals Not Paid Overtime
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»  Commonwealth Hit With Criminal Conviction
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»  Back Door Bob Does Wollongong
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»  ABC IR Memo Draws More Fire
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»  Unions Warn of More Deaths in Construction
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»  Big Brother Hits Rail Workers
*
»  Libs Dodge Public Education Forum
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»  Westfield Squeezes The Extra Dollar
*
»  MP's Staffers Fume Over Pay Deal
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»  Mat Leave Win for Country Energy
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»  No Wonder Wonderland Workers Unhappy
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»  Qld's First Major Review of Awards
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»  Unions Buck Online Ambush
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»  Bras Burned for Burma
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»  Two Capps To Cancel Debt
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»  Australians Work Too Much, Too Long
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»  Activists Notebook
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Columns
»  The Soapbox
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»  The Locker Room
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Tool Shed
*

Letters to the editor
»  Waterfront Women's Support Group
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»  Banking Lobby Group
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»  Love Your Tool!
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»  More on Indonesian Workers
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