Auckland casino worker Tuni Parata has been threatened with dismissal for carrying a pocket bible with her when she works.
Tuni Parata has been a SKYCITY worker for more than a decade and is currently a Tower Host at the casino.
Last week she received a letter to attend a disciplinary meeting because of her alleged misconduct for breaching departmental policies. The letter said that the possible outcome of this disciplinary meeting was “a final written warning”.
This means the company considers carrying a pocket bible to be “serious misconduct” and any further breach will mean instant dismissal.
Mrs Parata’s union Unite is calling for the charges against her to be dropped.
“This is completely absurd” says Unite National Director Mike Treen.
“Since when does carrying a bible in your pocket become unlawful in New Zealand workplaces.
“For some Christians carrying a bible on the person at all times is a vital part of their faith and relationship to god.
“What happened to freedom of opinion and religion as guaranteed by the bill of rights.
“We do not believe that ordering staff not to carry a pocket bible is a lawful or reasonable instruction in a workplace in the 21st Century” said Mr Treen.
“We tried to remonstrate with the company before going to the media on this issue. We tried to explain that the image the company is getting for its unhealthy relationship with the government will not be assisted by this stupidity. We tried to explain that a business that feeds off gambling addictions of many people in this country and is seen as a den of iniquity already won’t do its reputation any good. However our efforts fell on deaf ears.
“We will be calling on the company to see sense before the scheduled disciplinary meeting this Thursday.” said Unite National Director Mike Treen.