Seasonal workers

Samoa welcomes extension of RSE work permits

The Minister of Commerce Industry and Labour responsible for the Samoan seasonal workers, Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell commended the two governments.

“This is excellent because it’s not only for the safety of the workers but for all the three countries,” said Lautafi noting that the bonus for the Samoan seasonal workers is that they will continue to get paid.

He said that New Zealand has also extended visas for Samoans seasonal workers to stay and continue their employment until September.

Samoa's govt issues warning to departing seasonal workers

The Samoa Observer reports the workers were also warned against the dangers of social media during a pre-departure meeting.

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour's assistant chief executive, Lemalu Nele Leilua, told the workers the government would not hesitate to bring them back home if they misbehaved.

Most of the workers are heading to apple orchards for the harvest and are away for up to seven months.

The workers were also urged to start savings accounts for their return home.


Samoan lawyer calls for compensation education for Australia’s seasonal workers

Leota raised the issue following reports of Samoans being injured in the workplace then being sent home without compensation.

He told Loop Samoa correspondent, Talaia Mika that the whole idea came about after consultations with the Consulate, Vaasatia Poloma.

“Because a lot of people who go over for seasonal work, they’re more inclined to get hurt more than any other worker in Australia so that’s why there was an issue because yes there is our liaison officer Aufai in Australia but there’s no one here in Samoa,” he said.

Samoa losing skilled labour to seasonal worker schemes - business group

There are currently 55 Samoans working in Australia as part of the 'Seasonal Worker Program' and about 2500 in New Zealand with the 'Recognised Employer Scheme' or RSE.

However, Tagaloa has warned the government needs to tighten its recruitment of seasonal workers as the country is losing skilled labour.

The programme should be used for unemployed Samoans, he said.

"The unskilled workers will then get a skill and then when they come back they can then be a source of skilled supply labour for the private sector but not the other way around.

Emotional preparation for Samoa’s Tiavea youth for seasonal work overseas

Prior to the feasting and emotional goodbyes, the chiefs spoke with the group about being good ambassadors for their country.

The seasonal workers were also reminded of their priorities as they prepare to travel.

According to a member of the village, Menime Sola, this is Tiavea’s way of disciplining the men so that they will make their families and village proud in other countries.

Punishments and regulations were laid out for the men in the event of unruly behavior or criminal activities while they’re working abroad.

Call for returning seasonal workers to be vaccinated against measles

Hawke's Bay's Alan Wright is the clinical team leader for the New Zealand Medical Assistance Team 'Bravo', the second rotation to help in Samoa with the outbreak.

He's running the response at Leulumoega Distric Hospital, with all other patients diverted for treatment to a smaller clinic near Faleolo Airport on Upolu.

Dr Wright said he knew of workers preparing to leave New Zealand's Hawke's Bay, who were unvaccinated.

More seasonal employment opportunities for Samoans

In the first year the cap for Seasonal Workers permit will increase by 1550 to 14,400 for 2019/20 and if approval has also been given for the cap to be raised then it will increase by a further 1,600 places to 16,000 in 2020/21, says a recent announcement from the Government of New Zealand.
And the Minister of Commerce Industry and Labour, Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell is predicting at least 600 new seasonal job openings for Samoa.

Samoa hopes to boost worker numbers on overseas schemes

Newsline Samoa reported applicants must now produce a current police report.

The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Labour, Lautafi Selafi Purcell, has urged village mayors to be more truthful in their reports on applicants from their villages.

Lautafi said his government continues to ask the New Zealand government to increase the number of Pacific Islanders on its seasonal worker programme.

He said Samoa has a quota of 1,500 workers but currently close to 2000 are on the seasonal programme.

Over 2000 Samoans working in NZ under three separate schemes

The Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme is by far the largest with 1,800 Samoans working in horticulture and viticulture.

This was revealed by Samoa's New Zealand based RSE Liaison Officer, Lemalu Nele Leilua to clarify confusion over 100 workers from Samoa who are preparing to depart for New Zealand to work in the meat industry under a separate scheme.

No US travel ban on Samoan seasonal workers

This follows reports of an Executive Order issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security about seasonal workers visas for Samoan citizens to enter the U.S.

US Embassy Charge’ d’Affaires, Antone Greubel told the Samoa Observer that the decision does not affect any other visa classes and Samoans may still travel freely to the US with valid travel documents.

The Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Chief Executive Officer, Agafili Tomaimano Shem Leo says the government is being kept abreast from the start by Foreign Affairs and Diplomatic officials in the New York.