Trans supermarket workers upset at having to hand out Harry Potter cards: ‘It’s not part of their job’

Coles customers hold packs of the collectable Harry Potter Magical Builders

Trans workers at the Australian supermarket Coles have spoken out about having to distribute collectable Harry Potter cards to customers.

Coles gives a pack of the collectable cards to any customer who spends $30 (£25) in the supermarket, but the promotion is making trans workers feel uncomfortable because of Harry Potter author JK Rowling’s anti-trans activism. 

Activist Norrie May-Welby, who in 2014 won a years-long legal battle in the High Court of Australia to have the sex on their birth certificate listed as “non-specific”, told Daily Mail Australia that Coles staff should have the option of not handing out the Magical Builders cards and working in other parts of the store instead.

“Reassign them to duties where handing out these promotions is not part of their job,” they said.

“Behind the deli counter, greeting customers, assisting the self checkout, working the cigarette desk or on internet orders.”

The company said it employs at least 900 trans or gender-diverse people.

In May, Coles announced that it was introducing 10 days’ paid gender affirmation leave for trans and gender-diverse team members, “as part of its commitment to build a strong Pride network and actively contribute to local LGBTQI+ communities”.

But just a month later, during Pride month, it announced the collectable Harry Potter cards promotion, with Coles chief marketing officer Lisa Ronson insisting that “the magic of the wizarding world remains strong in Australia“.

In a statement addressing the issue of trans folk who may feel uncomfortable supporting a product from JK Rowling, a Coles spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia: “Coles promotes an inclusive workplace and we strongly encourage any team member with concerns about gender diversity issues to raise them with their store manager or line manager, or if they don’t feel comfortable doing this, then through our Pride Network who are there to support our LGBTQI+ community.”