11 May 2007

American Samoa lawmakers reduce scope of new work permit legislation

10:31 am on 11 May 2007

American Samoan lawmakers have expressed concern over what impact the guest workers permit will have on the country.

The fono has passed a bill proposed by Togiola Tulafonoa to allow guest workers from Samoa to work for up to a year in the territory's canneriens, call centre and manufacturing companies.

However, our correspondent Monica Miller, says the initial proposal was to hire workers from other Pacific countries as well.

"The lawmakers were very cautious about doing something that is new, that is one reason why they have reduced the use of the guest workers permit to just people from Samoa, the government had provided essentially that guest workers be hired from Samoa, Tonga and Tokelau."

The guest worker permit allows workers into the country immediately as opposed to having to wait for up to a year.