Seasonal workers

Welfare and wellbeing of Samoan seasonal workers in Australia important

According to the ministry, this has always been, and remains a coordinated and highly invested multi-stakeholder effort, including the Samoan Country Liaison Officer, Samoa Head of Mission & Consulate in Australia, Government of Australia and various Australian based agencies as well as local communities.

MCIL issued a statement in light of the concerning number of unsubstantiated information about the temporary worker scheme being circulated via various social platforms.

Covid-19 pandemic and safe return home

Samoa’s Electoral districts to screen RSE applicants

Acting Minister for Commerce, Industry and Labour Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster told the Samoan Parliament the new process will go into effect next month.

The committee's chairperson Niuava Eti Malolo advised that the ministry thoroughly consider the selection of seasonal workers to ensure that everyone in the country had an equal opportunity to apply.

The committee has also recommended that the Ministry considers a code of conduct for seasonal workers.

Frequent disruptions to Samoa RSE scheme impacts business plans

They have warned they may have to look elsewhere for seasonal workers if Samoa continues to put 'disruptions' in their seasonal work policy.

The Chief Executive Officer of Approved Employers Australia, Steve Burdette told Radio Australia is it worth the risk or do we go elsewhere, and that's what we are concerned about.

Samoa's Cabinet last year suspended the deployment of seasonal workers for the rest of January pending a Cabinet review.

PM assures Samoan RSE workers in New Zealand are safe

In her weekly press conference Fiame Naomi Mata’afa said there are no casualties.

A number of farms and orchards where the Samoan workers are employed reportedly suffered severe flooding over the last weekend.

Savali newspaper reports Government agencies which include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade complemented by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour have seen been put on alert monitoring the aftermath of the cyclone.

A significant number of Samoan workers are in the Hawkes Bay region which was heavily impacted.

Australian employers urge Samoa to provide clear plan on future of seasonal worker programme

Samoa temporarily blocked workers coming to Australia and New Zealand around concerns the programme was eroding local businesses, but is planning to resume the program later this month. 

ABC Pacific reports Steve Burdette, executive officer of the group, Approved Employers Australia, has said Australian farms need more clarity around Samoa's plans.

"You plan well in advance to get workers in, and having these kinds of disruptions interrupts business continuity and it lets a lot of people down in the process," he said.

Employers 'must earn the right' to hire RSE workers

Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner, Saunoamaalií Karanina Sumeo, who led an investigation into the mistreatment​ of RSE workers​ last year, says the issues "should have been addressed first" before the scheme resumed this year. 

PMN News reports she claims Pacific countries hold a special kind of power, because countries like New Zealand and Australia need workers more than workers need them.

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.