Samoa govt upset at allegations its seasonal workers in Australia mistreated

The Samoa Government is demanding a report from the Seasonal Worker's Division over alleged mistreatment of Samoans workers in Australia.

This follows media reports in Australia that some Pacific Islander workers feel like they are being "treated like slaves" as fruit pickers in Australia under the Seasonal Worker Programme.

In an interview with Radio Polynesia the Minister of Public Enterprises, Leatinu'u Wayne So'oialo expressed disappointment after reading the news articles from Australia.

To date there are close to 2,000 Samoans in New Zealand and Australia under the seasonal worker schemes.

"I saw this story, I am very disappointed in the way these workers are currently handled or treated in these worker mobility programs in Australia, and we definitely do not tolerate the exploitation of our RSE workers in Australia for that matter.

"I have written to the CEO of MCIL, Lemalu Nele, who is directly responsible, for an urgent report to me in regards to these issues."

The Minister said that Cabinet will be briefed for an urgent decision on this disturbing matter.

A full review of the program will definitely be looked at ASAP.

"I am very disappointed and upset about the whole situation regarding the treatment of our RSE workers currently in Australia, if this report is true."