Seasonal workers

Samoa workers defy temporary ban to head overseas

Documents including flight itineraries have been obtained by the Samoa Observer showing there was travel to New Zealand.

The itinerary shows 18 seasonal employees left the country on Sunday, January 15 while the scheme was halted.

Samoa's Cabinet had put a temporary stop to the deployment of seasonal workers for this month, until Cabinet finalises a policy focusing on the selection of applicants.

Samoa delays worker deployment

The Samoa Observer reports Acting Prime Minister, Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio, saying Cabinet made a "conscious decision" last week to halt the programme temporarily.

Tuala said a Cabinet sub-committee has been directed to table a policy on the issues raised within the next week before it can resume again.

He said if the government can sort out the policy in December then the scheme may resume in January.


Complaints about RSE allegations

Speaking with Radio Polynesia, Deputy Police Commissioner Auapa'au Logoitino Filipo said a man and a woman from Si'usega were being investigated by the Ministry of Police and Prisons over the claims.

Auapa'au said about 10 people have lodged complaints against this couple this week and police expect more complainants to come forward.

Auapa'au said people have paid thousands of tala for the RSE employment opportunities only to be told their trip has been postponed several times.

Infidelity is an issue among Samoa RSE workers says NGO

Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG) spokesperson Pepe Tevaga said while the scheme has benefitted many Samoan families, in some cases, couples have had to separate as husbands have taken another wife while both were working abroad on the RSE scheme.

As a result, jilted women have applied to the courts in Samoa for maintenance support for themselves and their children.

Ms Tevaga said the women are usually unemployed and most live with their in-laws in Samoa while the husband works under the RSE scheme.

Samoa to temporarily halt sending more seasonal workers overseas

TV1Samoa reports the last seasonal worker flight to New Zealand will be this Sunday, and the final flight to Australia will be at the end of the month.

Assistant Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Labour, Lemalu Nele Masina, said this is a temporary measure while the Ministry delves into the problems happening amongst some of the workers.

She said the Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Labour, Leatinu'u Wayne So'oialo had told Parliament about the government's plan to look at dealing with the problem.

Over 200 Samoan seasonal workers evicted from New Zealand

New Zealand’s Minister of Commerce, Industry and Labor Leatinu’u Wayne So’oalo announced the move in Parliament. 

So’oalo said the group included single women and married women who gave birth while deployed overseas.

Others include husbands and wives tying the knot abroad while their legitimate other halves are in Samoa.

Despite the social woes, the RSE Success stories for Samoan families are publicly documented with families reaping the fruits of hard labour with the seasonal workers wages financing new vehicles, building new homes, start a small business etc.

Pacific seasonal workers form choir at Brisbane abattoir

The 40-strong choir formed after Samoan and Solomon Islander workers at Australian Country Choice's Brisbane facility started meeting after work for singing sessions.

After management heard about the singalongs, an electronic keyboard and a guitar arrived.

So too did an invitation to hold an Easter concert for staff and friends.

Keeping home alive

The performance featured hymns sung back home to celebrate Easter as well as traditional dances.

Samoan seasonal workers in Australia breach contract rules

Under the labour scheme, workers must be on their best behaviour while working overseas.

In the past Samoans on the New Zealand Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme have been expelled for reasons including theft, smoking marijuana and for extramarital affairs.

Minister for Commerce, Industry and Labour, Leatinu'u Wayne So'oialo, revealed in Parliament this week that some of the group who tried to obtain Australian visas, had extramarital affairs, were getting married or having children while on the work scheme.


Flights for seasonal workers from Samoa to Australia and NZ suspended

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour advised the public in a statement yesterday that there have been minor changes to both schemes which have caused the flights to be temporarily stopped.

The suspension affects seasonal workers who were booked to travel on approved flights in April and the Ministry's assistant CEO, Fepulea'i Roger Toleafoa has thanked affected workers for their patience and said there would be more information about the changes soon.

Samoa Cabinet approves charter flights for seasonal workers

Cabinet approved the charter flights at its latest meeting.

There will be four flights to Australia and another four to New Zealand.

The flights to Australia are scheduled to depart Samoa on 1,7,23 and 25 March.

The dates for flights to New Zealand are 8, 15, 27 and 29 March.