A UNION for retail and fast food workers launched a protest outside Carousel Shopping Centre this morning, angered by the introduction of paid parking for staff.
In May, the Canning Times revealed staff would be the worst hit by Westfield’s plans to introduce paid parking at Carousel, with staff and tenants charged $3 a day.
Patrons would generally be charged incrementally after three hours at the centre.
Cannington MLA Bill Johnston was an official with the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) before be became a politician and joined the crowd of 40 workers and supporters this morning.
“It’s clear that this is an important issue for the community especially while the Turnbull Government is stripping retail workers of their penalty rates,” Mr Johnston said, urging Swan MHR Steve Irons to speak up.
Premier Mark McGowan today sided with the retail workers.
“Look, I agree with the retail workers,” he said.
“We’re looking at what we can do to ensure that both the workforce and small business people in these shopping centres can be excluded from the payments.
“I think it’s a bit rich. It hasn’t been done before. I don’t like it.
“I think people in retail and small business deserve to be exempted.”
A spokeswoman for Westfield simply reiterated the centre’s prior information regarding paid parking.
“To help alleviate parking pressure and to make it easier for customers to find a park, we have introduced Park+ at Westfield Carousel as part of the wider redevelopment,” she said.
“The new parking system includes license plate recognition technology so customers won’t need a paper ticket, parking guidance to make it easier to find a bay and valet parking.
“The majority of customers will continue to park free of charge with a 3-hour free parking period, with those seeing a movie receiving an extra free hour upon validation. Parking will also be free of charge with entry after 5.30pm.”
Mr Irons’ office, and Scentre Group which runs the centre, were contacted for comment.