30 Apr 2002

StarkKist Samoa says it owes no rent to Satala Land Trust

6:20 pm on 30 April 2002

A Starkist Samoa official in Pago Pago has denied the company owes rent to the Satala Land Trust, which owns more than 30-thousand square feet of land, where Starkist is located.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the StarKist official says the 10-thousand US dollars a month claimed to have not been paid, has been placed in a trust account, until a lease agreement is reached.

The Satala Land Trust says that the money has not been paid since March of last year.

The Land Trust has filed a complaint in the High Court of American Samoa to collect back rent worth more than 117-thousand dollars and to have StarKist evicted.

According to the trust, StarKist elected to pay only the previous rent based on two land lease agreements executed in 1977 and expired in 1993 but not the new adjusted rental rate of 10-thousand dollars a month.

StarKist Samoa has nearly 4-thousand employees and is the territory's biggest private sector employer.