24 Nov 2008

American Samoa business leaders hope for talks over cannery cost cutting

5:08 pm on 24 November 2008

American Samoa's Chamber of Commerce President, David Robinson, is hopeful that the new owners of Star Kist Samoa, the Dongwon Corporation, will speak with it about planned job cuts and other cost cutting at the cannery.

Mr Robinson says the Chamber has asked US Congressman, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, to set up a meeting with the company to give it a better understanding of what it has in store for the territory's biggest private employer.

This follows the company's announcement that it was cutting 20 salaried positions and discontinuing most benefits for waged employees.

Mr Robinson says the cuts shouldn't have come as a surprise.

"It's always very unfortunate, I mean nobody likes to see people put out of jobs and particularly here in a small economy like us it can have quite a severe impact, when the per capita income, the disposable income of quite a number of people is suddenly withdrawn from the market, it can have an impact on all sorts of local businesses."

American Samoa's Chamber of Commerce President David Robinson