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Progressive Enterprises Puts The Record Straight

Progressive Enterprises Puts The Record Straight


Progressive Enterprises wants to put the record straight about West Auckland teenager Liesa Lumby who claims to have been offered a job and then been turned away because she had newly acquired dreadlocks.

First, the seafood department at Kelston Foodtown never offered Liesa a job.

Progressive Enterprises Chief Operating Officer, Richard Umbers, says “I am sorry if Liesa believed she had been offered a job, but that certainly wasn’t the case.”

Liesa had been invited into the store for an interview for part time work but that interview never took place because of her four-day-old dreadlocks. She was asked if she could do anything about the hairstyle and she said “no.”

Mr Umbers says his company has a clear policy on hairstyles. “Our employment policy clearly states that extreme hairstyles and colours are not acceptable and hair past the shoulders must be tied back. Staff are advised of this when they are employed.”

He says Progressive Enterprises’ supermarkets employ large numbers of young people and, as any parent will appreciate, it has to be firm in sticking to the rules.

“On top of this consumers will know that we are first and foremost in the food business and that food hygiene is critical to the safety of all. The expectation of our shoppers is that our staff have the highest standards of presentation and hygiene”.

Green MP Nandor Tanczos has criticised the company alleging discrimination.

Mr Umbers says he is disappointed Mr Tanczos has taken this position without understanding the full facts.

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