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  Issue No 109 Official Organ of LaborNet 31 August 2001  

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News

SDA Defeats 'Obscene' Westfield Parking Fees


The SDA has secured a significant victory in its ongoing campaign to defeat Westfield's bid to charge retail workers for parking at their workplace.

More than 100 centre staff packed Liverpool Council chambers on Monday night to cheer the unanimous Council rejection of Westfield's parking fee application.

The decision follows an 18 month campaign by the Union to defeat Westfield's development application to introduce a "nominal" daily parking fee for the centre's workers.

Council Unanimously Backs Retail Workers

In rejecting the fee, Council described the proposed staff parking fee as "obscene" and lacking common sense.

New South Wales SDA Branch Secretary Greg Donnelly congratulated Liverpool City Councillors for their fair and just decision.

"We are delighted at Council's decision. It was the only sensible choice available. The Councillors clearly recognised that the application was all about revenue and not safety.

It should send a clear message to Westfield. The wages of retail workers are not a bargaining chip to be traded for onsite security.

The Councillors have appreciated the folly of imposing parking fees on working mothers and young women, so prominent in our industry, who rely upon their vehicle for transport to and from work."

Retailer Support

In an important development for the SDA's campaign, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), representing retail employers, joined with the Union to recommend that Council reject Westfield's application.

Acknowledging the important support of the ARA, Mr Donnelly noted, "This confirms what the SDA has always said - only Westfield benefits from paid staff parking. The ARA is entitled to be concerned about the flow on effect to wages, Occupational Health and Safety and Workers Compensation.

The ARA has also identified the very real risk of "double dipping" where Westfield's tenants already pay for the provision of security as a term of their lease only for Westfield to seek to levy employees for the same service."

SDA Leads Groundswell Of Opposition

Identifying the important contribution of a coalition of interests, Mr Donnelly said today,

"The SDA is proud to have led a groundswell of workers, employers and community interests against this unnecessary application and calls on Westfield to respect Council's decision to the benefit of everyone and lay this matter to rest once and for all."

Hornsby and Burwood On The Radar

The decision not only protects the existing entitlement to free, safe parking for all retail workers at Westfield Liverpool but also provides a launching pad for the Union to resume its campaign in other affected centres.

The issue will hot up over the coming months as the SDA targets Westfield's Hornsby and Burwood shopping centres.

Mr Donnelly said today, "Our members continue to be unfairly targeted at other Westfield centres in the Sydney metropolitan area.

The stark injustice is clearly demonstrated at Burwood where customers are provided with free parking with any purchase whilst the workers, who often purchase their lunch, groceries and other goods and services at the centre, are whacked with a $4 fee every day they park at work.

The Liverpool decision is a stepping stone to securing free, safe parking for all retail workers."


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*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 109 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Union Power
Electrical Trades Union state secretary Bernie Riordan surveys the union movement's troubled relationship with Labor.
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*  International: Spreading the Word
Veronica Apap profiles Kamal Fadel and the battle he is fighting for the independence of his homeland of West Sahara.
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*  E-Change: Training for a Wired Workforce
Education is the entry point into the new economy; but the system still reflects an industrial age view of the world.
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*  Unions: AWU Defends Millennium Train Workers
Mark Hearn looks at how a group of Newcastle workers are setting a new standard in the railways.
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*  Politics: Chatting with Enemies of the State
Brazils MST is the largest and most radical social movement in the Americas. The CFMEU´s Phil Davey drops in for a chat.
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*  History: Struggle and Inspiration
Rowan Cahill argues that it is only through understanding history that we can make sense of the present plight of workers.
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*  Technology: A World Without Microsoft
Heather Sharp argues that all technologies involve political choices and moral values. Computer software is no exception, and it is Bill Gates' choices that dominate.
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*  Review: Let There Be Rock
Kid Rock and Beer Bong, Australia’s Oldest Rock Fans review the week’s music and political events from the safety of the bar stool.
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*  Satire: Tampa refugees ask to go home: "It's less inhumane than Australia"
The 460 asylum seekers on board the Tampa freight vessel have demanded to be taken back to their oppressive homelands, which they now realise aren’t nearly as hostile as Australia.
*

News
»  The Meaning of Working Life – The Answer is 7.1!
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»  Unions Stand Up for National Soul
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»  MUA Salvages Some Pride
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»  Common Law Report Plea – Make It Public
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»  Maintenance Contract 'Could Put Lives at Risk'
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»  Tax Office's GST Scam - 10 Per Cent Off!
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»  Della Moves on Pay Slip Concerns
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»  Authorities Scotch Bra-Burning
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»  Manusafe Decision Faces Appeal
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»  Orange Finally Saved from Closure
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»  Award Win For Telco Workers
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»  Abbott Clears Way for Lower Wages
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»  SDA Defeats 'Obscene' Westfield Parking Fees
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»  Labor Calls On Abbott To Abide By Convention
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»  Nurses Highlight Staff Shortages
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»  Keystone Cops At Wonderland Protest
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»  Call for Change in Award Increases
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»  Green Tin Box Values Gone At Commonwealth
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»  Dance for Independence
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»  Get Ready to Wobble
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»  Activist Notebook
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»  STOP PRESS: ITF says PM Tampa action illegal
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Columns
»  The Soapbox
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»  The Locker Room
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»  Trades Hall
*
»  Tool Shed
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Letters to the editor
»  Unite Against Racism
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»  WorkCover Impact
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»  Improving the Debate
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»  Botsman's Satire
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»  MUA - Take a Bow!
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»  Economic Predators
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»  Email and the Waterfront Dispuite
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