25 Aug 2010

American Samoan House Representative says jobs must be protected

11:08 am on 25 August 2010

American Samoan House Representative Galu Satele Junior insists that until the territory can create new jobs through a second cannery or new industries, everything must be done to protect existing jobs at the StarKist Samoa cannery.

Satele is saddened that the government has not taken heed of a request by StarKist officials for a task force to jointly come up with ways to revamp the local tuna industry and prevent the remaining cannery from closure.

Satele says many people claim it's a good thing if the cannery closes so that employees, who are mostly from Samoa will return home.

But he said America Samoa has become home for most of the workers.

"This is their permanent home, their children have been born here, they pay taxes and they are a part of our culture and our government now. And we can't just say, they are going to go back home, they don't have homes over there. They have made their homes here and this is where they are seeking their future for their kids and their families, and that's what I'm concerned about, saving jobs that are already in place."

Galu Satele Junior.