According to The Richmond News (and thanks to Scot Bathgate for alerting Price Tags) there is a season of discontent with the clerks and part-time workers at the airport’s McArthurGlen designer outlet shopping mall. This mall has been doing a booming business at its pseudo European storefront facade mall, located about a one kilometer walk  from the Templeton Canada Line Station.

The mall has a 2,000 space parking lot for its customers, but nowhere for employees to park free. Nearly 70 of the 600 employees have been parking their vehicles on a piece of airport owned land to the west of the mall. All was good until the airport announced that starting May 1 parking would be $4.00  for four hours on that piece of land. Since many of the part-time workers make the $10.85 minimum wage, that does represent a sizable chunk. There is another parking lot at the Templeton Canada line station but that cost is nearly $70.00 a month.

Now of course some Price Tags readers will think it seems strange that employees expected to park for free, or that the fact there was no employee parking was not mentioned in the interviews. But as the Richmond News found out, some employees came to work at the airport mall because it was “closer to her Richmond home” and “I came here to cut down on transit costs. Lots of other malls have designated parking for staff.”

In Metrotown there is a parking for employees as well as at the Tsawwassen Mills mega mall.  One manager noted that the McArthurGlen parking lot was never full and it was for appearances that employees were to park away from customers. “I used to work at Metrotown (in Burnaby) and it has parking for employees. Our parking lot here is very seldom full,” said the woman, who suggested not allowing staff to park alongside the customers was all about appearances.

There is of course the ability to take the Canada line to Bridgeport Station and connect to express buses across the region from that location. It is also Sea Island policy for everyone to pay for parking on the island. Should regional malls be providing parking for employees driving to work?