22 Aug 2006

American Samoa to allow guest workers from Samoa

9:54 am on 22 August 2006

The government of American Samoa is planning to allow people from neighbouring Samoa to be guest workers in the territory.

Immigration between the two Samoas has been a contentious issue for several years, and it was on the agenda at inter government talks at the weekend in Pago Pago.

At the meeting, Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele and American Samoa's Governor, Togiola Tulafono, agreed to set up task forces to tackle fuel costs and the drug trade.

Our correspondent in Pago Pago, Fili Sagapolutele, says Togiola also revealed his guest worker scheme, which would allow businesses like the canneries to recruit Samoans on short term contracts.

"Under one condition that this worker must work for the company that hired them. And once that contract has been terminated this individual must return to Samoa."

Our correspondent says other immigration initiatives include short term permits for shopping and events such as funerals.