Seasonal workers

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.

Fiji RSE workers list concerns with NZ work environment

Last month the Fiji government announced it had banned entire villages from taking part in the Recognised Seasonal Employer ccheme in New Zealand or the similar Australian scheme after complaints from the New Zealand government about misconduct and disorderly behaviour by some Fijian workers.

Now the Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Jone Usamate, has met with some of the Fijian workers in this country to " hear their views of the challenges faced."

Seasonal farm workers receiving less than $10 a week after deductions, investigation reveals

The workers came to Australia in January as part of the Department of Employment's Seasonal Worker Program.

The group of 20 from Fiji, and others from Tonga, were taken to the caravan park in Merrigum, in the food bowl district of northern Victoria.

Government strict on seasonal workers attitudes

"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.

8,500 involved in NZ RSE scheme this year

Michael Woodhouse says it is the largest number since the scheme began eight years ago and reflects an excellent season for apples, kiwifruit, cherries and grapes.

He has told a conference in Apia he continues to be amazed at the impact the scheme has on the families involved.

Woodhouse told the employers the RSE scheme ensures a more stable and reliable workforce for New Zealand growers.

The Minister says a pilot involving Fijian workers for the first time has gone well and he expects many more from the country to be involved in subsequent years.