Published Date: 18 September 2009
A MAJOR employer is to examine its entire parking facilities after a row erupted over spaces.
Bosses at Heerema Hartlepool have cited reasons such as needing to find more spaces because of its growing workforce and trying to bring an end to an ongoing row which alleges that bays had been set up specifically for women.
Company officials spoke to the Mail after an irate worker at the site in Greenland Road sent a photograph to the Mail which had been posted in one of the parking areas and which claimed it was a women's only parking area.
The worker, who did not wish to be named, said it was gender discrimination and added: "The battle over women's parking has been an ongoing thing for over a year when Heerema put up signs stating that a certain area of the car park was reserved.
"It was never formally written that this was for ladies, but was always referred to as the ladies reserved area and often male members were told to move their cars."
The worker said he had been told that the reason for the move was "safety."
He added: "This week, as there are now more people in need of a parking space, some of the women were unable to park in the reserved area and had to park in an adjacent car parking area."
This sparked off the whole situation again, and on Tuesday this week signs were put up stating "Ladies Reserved Area."
A spokesman for Heerema Hartlepool said the Ladies Only sign had now been taken down.
"Someone had asked for the signs to be put up for ladies parking only which caused a problem and it was seen as discrimination against men," he added.
"The signs were taken down and the whole car park situation is being looked at because of the numbers of people on it."
He said the issue of parking for females was originally questioned "a few years ago" and arose over safety fears for women going home late at night.
One of the solutions was likely to be an increased number of parking spaces which could be on the way soon, he said.