SkyCity employee thanks supporters

21 Jun

Tuni Parata

VICTORY: Tuni Parata with her pastor Michael Nicholas at the Unite Union offices yesterday.

A SkyCity Casino employee has thanked her supporters after the casino caved yesterday and dropped disciplinary action over her carrying a pocket Bible at work.

A victorious Tuni Parata was met by a representative of SkyCity at the offices of the Unite union.

Parata, accompanied by her pastor and Unite boss Mike Treen, was informed the company would make an exception to its front-of-house uniform policy in her case.

SkyCity said the meeting was not a disciplinary hearing.

People and performance executive manager Claire Walker, who attended the meeting for SkyCity, declined to comment.

However, in a letter to Parata, she said the company acknowledged “the tremendous importance it is clear you place on being able to carry your Bible”.

The company agreed to allow her to carry the Bible as long as it was a pocket-size only and was not visible and not read while she was working.

Parata told Fairfax said she was happy with the outcome and was pleased she could continue working at SkyCity.

“There’s been a lot of support out there. It’s nice to know there are others out there thinking of you.”

She said “now and then” it had been hard to work at SkyCity for the month the saga had been progressing, though there was “no ill feeling”.

Letters from the casino to Parata, released by the union, indicated she had been warned several times in the past about carrying non-work items into the “front of house” area.

SkyCity also reminded her that she could have requested an exemption to the policy but had not done so.

Parata called her pocket-Bible her “companion” and said she usually kept it in her bag, but on this latest occasion decided to keep it with her, in her pocket and out of sight.

Parata said the ordeal had kept her awake at night and frequently reduced her to tears.

She said management had kept a close eye on her on the floor and she has also been admonished for fanning herself while at work during the summer.

“It makes it a little bit tense and I want to ask ‘Well what can I do?’ Everything I do it seems to have a complaint about me.”

“It can be difficult because its like they’re watching your every move.”

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