Westfield Valley Fair employees are angry and fighting back after mall management announced its new “controlled parking plan.”
In a letter circulating among mall employees, organizers say “It is unreasonable and unsafe to expect exhausted mall employees to walk off-campus where parking is free or take a pay cut for simply using their car to commute to work.”
The letter demands that mall management offer free parking passes for “all levels” of mall employees. If the demands are not met by Feb. 14, employees will say they will hit Valley Fair where it hurts, its reputation. They say they will downvote the mall on social media.
Westfield’s mall management held a meeting on Jan. 18 with store managers to discuss the parking plan. Most attendees left feeling disheartened after mall management told them if employees can’t afford the parking permits, they’re encouraged to utilize public transportation and carpooling.
Antonio, an employee at Diesel, is one of the more outspoken critics of the plan. He says the Jan. 18 meeting left employees with no other options.
“The general consensus from managers at stores I stopped at was it’s wrong,” said Antonio. “Whether employers were covering the costs or not, employees are not happy. It isn’t fair. Especially to those whose employers aren’t covering. I think it’s also very damaging to the contractors who are also working in the mall. The cleaners, for instance.
“[Employees are] upset, frustrated, confused,” said Antonio. “We are the literal backbone of the center, yet we’re being charged for parking. In the [Jan. 18] forum, several people asked about additional discounts for passes and management said for those individuals to pay the $3/day pass or take public transportation. That’s really not okay to tell staff. It comes off as so inappropriate to tell your workers to further put themselves at risk for exposure of COVID to use public transportation when they have vehicles to use.”
Employees believe that this isn’t about “safer parking” but rather greed.
When asked about the frustration expressed by employees, a spokesperson for Westfield Valley Fair referred to a fact sheet on the controlled parking plan which outlines the cost to employees—$3 per day or $40 per month. Mall management also “encourages” but does not require employers to buy employee parking passes.
During the Jan. 18 meeting, one attendee asked whether paid parking would deter hiring. Mall management told the group that property improvements and the work done to create such a beautiful center should make Valley Fair an ideal place for retailers and employees.
“They are going to keep posting about how great the mall is on their Instagram, while we call them out for their tone-deaf policy,” said Antonio.
When asked if this makes him think twice about working at Valley Fair, he says absolutely.
“The environment has to be safe, fair, accessible. Valley Fair already isn’t safe with limited sanitation stations, security not enforcing masks. They’re currently showing us that they’re not fair by charging employees to park,” said Antonio. “Really has me personally thinking about working for such a ‘great’ center. Kind of a sham and people are starting to see that.”
A bunch of whiny excuses because someone doesn’t want to pay $3 a day for parking. Believe me, Valley Fair wants upscale clients and staff. Not a bunch of broke babies crying about how unfair life is. If you want to park for free park across the street at Santana Row and walk. But I bet that’s too far to walk, hurts your feet and you might catch COVID on the sidewalk.
I am not clearly understanding why this Karensandra is posting here if this conversation is so beneath her. I bet she also parks in handicap spaces and coughs on fruit at Whole Foods. Maybe go back to Florida? You sound just like that state.
Time to boycott malls now, great job!
You’re joking, Cassandra, right? “Cry babies”?! My daughter is 16 years old working for minimum wage at Valley Fair. It’s a great first job for her. Now she is a “cry baby” in your eyes because she isn’t okay with spending $40 of her small wages or parking in Santana Row? She is often off after 10:00 at night. I’m NOT okay with her walking alone that far. I’ve already been concerned with her walking alone to her car in the garage due to the mall’s lack of security. Your lack of empathy is astounding!
The person who left the comment saying employees at Valley Fair are giving “A bunch of whiny excuses” must work for Westfield. Or they are oblivious to the realitys of life. Some people simply can’t afford the extra expense. An expense that could go towards buying groceries, paying the rent or utilities. I presume many of the employees are college students or people simply trying to make ends meet for their families. I do not object to the $3 a day fee for shoppers. I don’t like it, but I don’t feel that is unreasonable. I do strongly object to the employees of the mall being charged $30 a month to park. The employees are not taking up a space needed for shoppers to park. They are taking up a space for the shoppers. They are taking a parking space that shoppers need. Without the employees there would be no shoppers, and no mall.
The company that owns and manages the mall, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield SE, is worth billions. It is completely wrong to put the cost of parking on the employees. Without the employees the mall would not be able to operate. A quick Google search will show you that the CEO of Westfield makes millions! They don’t need to charge for parking. Corporate greed is disgusting.
I live near Valley Fair and I cannot believe they are going to charge us to park there to shop! Much less charge employees to work there! They can stuff it. I won’t pay to park there to shop. I will take my business elsewhere. Bunch of greedy bastards.