Abolish staff parking rates at Westfield Chermside
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As of February 3rd, 2020, Westfield Chermside is increasing the daily staff parking rate to $5. Currently the rate sits at $4 a day, costing the average full time worker $20 a week - after February 3rd, $25 per week. This will be close to most of our hourly rate, and over that of those permanently contracted in sales assistant positions. As staff who work in this centre, we keep this business running. Without us, shops would not be open, income would not be generated, and the stores within this massive corporation would not be able to maintain their tenancies.
In the year of 2018, Chermside was the fifth largest-income shopping centre in Australia, generating a massive $1.025 billion. Most of us who work in retail, fast food, and other variations of customer service could not fathom earning that much. For perspective, someone on Queensland's median wage (of over $80k p/a - not likely anyone in retail) would have to work for 12,155 YEARS before seeing that much money - and that's before tax! $1.025billion is what Chermside earned in one single calendar year.
Chermside holds about 470 stores - each with at least one staff member. If we average one staff member per store (discounting the mega supermarkets and department stores that have many more staff), who pays for parking daily, that averages to $2350 per day, or $16450 per week. We know most stores staff more than one person a day, and an article from 2012 states they brought in a $16000~ staff parking income per week - when the rate was only $3.
Most stores within Chermside are retail fronts, where most employees are casuals who legally can't work a shift less than 3 hours. This means that from the time of parking, getting inside to work, and getting back to our cars after a 3 hour shift, we still have to pay the flat soon-to-be $5 rate - the same as someone finishing a 9 hour shift - without any control over the hours we are assigned.
Public transport to and from the centre is not accessible from the rest of Brisbane, unlike retail stores in the city and other inner suburbs. Those of us who don't live nearby, or in the Northern suburbs, have no other option other than to drive unless we want to double our transport time and pay more in GoCard fares. Chermside know that the bus interchange is the only way people can access the centre if not by car, due to there being no train line nearby, and they know people will opt for driving in a city that is designed for us to rely so heavily on driving as a means of transport.
My question to you is this - why should we, the staff that help keep this mega-corporation afloat, have to pay them for showing up? Why should the people, some of whom would not even see in a month what staff parking generates per day, have to give up hard earned money simply for coming to work? Without us, this centre would not run. Without us, their billions would not exist. We should not be punished for not living locally, or for being unable to rely on public transport. We should not be punished for needing to maintain employment in an economy that demands our labour.
Our demand from Westfield Chermside and the Scentre Group is that staff parking rates are abolished. We should not have to pay to be at work, we should not have to forfeit our wages to fatten the pockets of a multi-billion dollar corporation. We as staff and tenants, deserve to have our place of work treat us with respect and gratitude, not financial punishment.
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