Government strict on seasonal workers attitudes

"Drunkards, and mischievous individuals will not be tolerated," said Caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.

"If you are reported for drinking while on the job, causing trouble while you are there, you will be sent back, and you will banned from ever getting the opportunity to go overseas for fruit picking employment," he added.


Today more than 1200 seasonal workers met with the caretaker PM in a special farewell ceremony as they will soon be leaving for New Zealand to work on farms under the seasonal worker programme.


Tuilaepa, was not about to let these workers repeat the same issues that have been haunting the partnership between Samoa and New Zealand in recent years.


"Not only will you be banned forever, but the village you are from will be suspended from sending workers," he added.


"Not only that, but were familiar with songs, written in mockery of husbands and wives employed to work in these seasonal jobs, having committed unfaithfulness while there.


"It may be funny to hear, but it shouldn’t be happening. Stay committed to your families and vows," he added.


The chief executive officer of the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Agafili Shem Leo, says Samoa's number of hired seasonal workers has been steady.


"In the last five years, we have been keeping the number above 1200 plus. We aim to push for more, however actions like the ones the Prime minister spoke about can really hurt our negotiations and chances," he said.


"Today a team from Australia will be meeting with the Prime Minister in a discussion of more jobs available, this time in carpentry," he added.


The PM has also noted, women have shown to be good workers and there may be more taken in the programme.


Joshua Lafoai