Samoan government worried about seasonal workers’ affairs

Samoan authorities, concerned that families are broken up by affairs, are considering allowing only single workers to participate in foreign seasonal worker programs.

Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell
Photo: RNZI / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

Business while workers were abroad was “not a major problem,” acting labor minister Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell said, but the numbers must be prevented from rising, Samoa Information Line reported.

Lautafi said if the problem persisted, his ministry would review the seasonal worker program and only single workers could end up being hired.

He said those who had adventures away from home gave the program a bad name, but the government was responsible for breaking up families.

“I don’t blame Australia if changes are made [to the scheme for workers going there]. It’s only a small number of people who do this, but they give the whole program a bad name. “

Other opportunities in Australia had recently opened up, and Lautafi said it was “great news”.

“More than 1,000 workers are now working on the program in Australia and the number is growing, especially with Samoa remaining Covid-free.

“Some companies hire from us, and if that is successful, they would offer more to our people.”

Many families benefited from the seasonal work program both financially and because of the opportunity to learn new skills, which could then be used to start a business in their home country in Samoa.

Lautafi said the success of the program shows how well the HRPP has governed.

There are almost 3000 people available in Samoa who are ready to travel and work.

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