15 May 2010

American Samoa lawmakers ask Starkist President how long cannery will remain

7:21 am on 15 May 2010

American Samoa lawmakers have put questions to the President and CEO of the Star Kist cannery, Don Binotto, about how long the cannery will remain in the Territory.

Yesterday the US-based Company announced that over the next six months up to 800 people will be laid off from its cannery in American Samoa.

Senator Velega Savali said Mr Binotto testified that time is running out and time is short so he asked, how much time does American Samoa have?

Mr Binotto replied that StarKist would like to provide an opportunity for local leaders to develop a comprehensive plan before coming to a decision to close.

He also said his company will participate in developing the plan.

"It may take as little as a month, it may take as long as six months to develop a plan, I don't know believe there is a immediate answer out there, but I do believe with what we have done provides us a time to develop a comprehensive plan, that provides us not a short term answer but a long term answer for this island. If things were not to change we would be here now longer than one year, I could assure you."

The President and CEO of the Star Kist cannery, Don Binotto.

Last year, 2,000 jobs were lost in Pago Pago when another cannery closed.