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Workers' Dispute Continues Over Pay-to-Park Policy at South Bay's Valley Fair Mall

NBC Universal, Inc.

A beef over parking continues Thursday at Valley Fair mall in the South Bay as workers were set to protest a policy that has been in effect since February.

The workers and their allies have been pushing back since a pay-to-park policy was first implemented. The protesters say with the minimum wage in Santa Clara County at $16 an hour, forcing them to pay $3 a day, or $40 a month, to park at their workplace is going too far.

Visitors to the mall park for free for the first two hours, after which they are charged a dollar an hour up to 10 hours. Management’s goal with the policy is to deter nonshoppers from taking valuable parking.

Protest organizers say it's unfair to workers.

"Seeing this coming from those in charge of the mall, I don’t understand why they must take out the employees so they can make that little extra profit," organizer Sergio Gomez said. "It’s definitely issues of classism, the elite continually trying to oppress of lower income."

Westfield Valley Fair's management reponded with a statement: "We support the right of employees who work at the center to voice their opinions, but we remain committed to our controlled parking plan."

The protest was scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m.

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