23 May 2006

America Samoa's senate president says changes to help canneries will impact territory

9:42 am on 23 May 2006

The American Samoa Senate President, Lolo M. Moliga, says special provisions in the law to help the canneries recruit workers will have an impact on the territory's infrastructure, which is already pushed to cope with the current population.

Lolo urged the two canneries to tap into the many non-American Samoans who are already living on island, because he says there are a lot of them who could be hired.

The Togiola Administration has already granted a special provision to existing immigration laws whereby a foreigner living in the territory, only has to be there six months, not 12, before they can apply for jobs other than as domestics.

Samoa Packing's general manager, Herman Gebauer, says the provision allowed them to hire from within the community, instead of taking their recruitment to Samoa.

StarKist Samoa is arguing that they should be able to recruit from Samoa to bring in the needed additional 200 workers for their production line.

The Senate President says, however, that the 200 workers would include their families which would put added strain on the infrastructure and the territory's limited resources.