American Samoa's member of the US Congress Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, says he appreciates the StarKist Company's willingness to downsize
operations in the territory instead of closing its plant, like the COS Samoa Packing cannery did last September.
Faleomavaega made the comment after StarKist said last week it would lay off up to 800 workers in the next six months.
He says for the affected workers the U.S. Department of Labor is on stand-by to work with the American Samoa Government on a National Emergency Grant which would provide displaced cannery workers with the possibility of job training and stipends.
He says the territorial government must request the assistance.
Faleomavaega says at a federal level, he has been working with congressional members since January to put a short-term solution in place until a long-term solution can be found to help the cannery industry.
He says negotiations are sensitive and therefore he cannot make any announcements now.