Auckland Pride Parade: SkyCity staff defy company boycott

SkyCity employees will be marching in next year's Auckland Pride Parade, despite the company pulling its support for the event. 

The company announced it would not be supporting the parade on Friday in retaliation over the Auckland Pride Parade board's decision to ask police not to march in uniform.

Police said if they could not march in uniforms then they would not march at all.

On Saturday, SkyCity Employees Association of Unite Union said its members had found out about SyCity's decision not to participate in next year's parade via the media.

Convenor Joe Carolan said members would be marching in solidarity with LGBTQ workers "no matter what".

SkyCity general manager of human resources, Claire Walker, said on Friday the company had "regrettably" made the decision not to participate in the event, after "the decision of the parade's organisers not to include uniformed police in next year's event" which is "not consistent" with the company's values.

"We have supported previous Pride Parades as a celebration of this community," said Ms Walker. "We were also very proud to have our values of tolerance and inclusion recognised at the Deloitte Top 200 Awards, where SkyCity won the Diversity and Inclusion leadership category."

Mr Carolan said he welcomes the return of campaigning politics against "all forms of discrimination and oppression to an event that celebrates Stonewall, the original LGBT rebellion against police brutality in New York in 1969".

"In recent years, this radical message has been pinkwashed out of existence by corporate dominance," he added. 

"Workers are finding our confidence again in New Zealand and we will be marching in solidarity with our gay, lesbian, trans and queer comrades until we all are free and liberated."

A spokesperson from SkyCity told Newshub staff had supported the company's stance on the parade.

"The announcement was shared first with our 3500 staff, including an email from our CEO and post to our SKYCITY Pride Facebook page which has received very positive support," the company said.

"The decision does not exclude staff from walking in the Pride Parade, either as individuals or with other groups they are a member of."