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Supermarket should practice what it preaches

Supermarket should practice what it preaches

Freedom of choice means more than the right to cream alcohol profits, Green MP Nandor Tanczos warned Progressive Enterprises today.

The supermarket giant is under fire after refusing employment to a West Auckland teenager - after already offering her a position - because she turned up to work with dreadlocks.

Ironically, Progressive Enterprises is running a campaign to break West Auckland's alcohol sales trust monopoly using the slogan "Freedom of Choice".

Liesa Lumby interviewed for a position in the seafood department at Kelston Foodtown and was verbally informed she was successful in her application. However, when she arrived at the supermarket to receive her letter of employment, she was 'fired' before even working one shift because she had acquired dreadlocks.

Nandor, the Green Party Youth Affairs spokesperson, said the incident disturbs him.

"This is outrageous. Liesa was given the job on the basis that she would be a capable worker, then they turn around and give her the sack because of her hairstyle," said Nandor.

"Progressive Enterprises is talking about about freedom of choice so they can get their hands on the alcohol market, yet obviously they don't extend this freedom to their workers.

"This is disgraceful and calls into question the integrity and honesty of the management when they would dismiss a capable worker simply on how she wears her hair."

Although Progressive Enterprises have stated that, technically, Liesa was never an employee, the Employment Tribunal confirms that a verbal job offer and acceptance is as valid as a written contract.

"I'll be supporting her in every attempt to address the blatant unfairness of this through every avenue open to her. I call on all people and the community to express their feelings to Foodtown about this barefaced discrimination until Progressive Enterprises start living by their slogans."

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