25 Jul 2005

Workers on Samoa's new Aquatic Centre seek pay rise

10:22 am on 25 July 2005

180 workers at the Chinese-funded Aquatic Centre in the Samoan capital walked off their jobs on Friday and vowed not to return until they receive a pay increase.

The strike has created worries among Samoa government officials about the country's preparations to host the 2007 South Pacific Games.

The Centre is part of new projects for the games.

A spokesperson for the workers, Moeaiva Opetaia Lolo, has told the Samoa Observer newspaper that the workers feel they too should be eligible for the recent government general pay rise.

However, the executive director of the Samoa Games Authority, Fonoti Etuale Ioane told the newspaper that the Samoan workers were already being paid above the minimum wage.

The workers complain that their day starts at 7 am and they are often expected to work late into the night without getting any special overtime rate.