13 Sep 2010

Calls for a taskforce focussing on remaining American Samoa cannery

7:02 am on 13 September 2010

With another round of layoffs looming at the StarKist Samoa cannery in American Samoa, territorial lawmakers are urging Governor Togiola Tulafono to establish a task force.

The first round of lay offs was implemented last month, with close to 400 workers out of jobs.

The joint government-StarKist group is to identify means by which the government can assist in reducing operating costs of StarKist Co. in order to improve its sustainability in the U.S territory.

During a House Commerce Committee hearing, StarKist Samoa general manager Brett Butler reiterated the request for a task force help identify areas to assist the company, which plans to carry out phase two of the lay offs in October.

In non-binding territorial House resolution approved on the weekend, House members say the closure last September of the Chicken of the Sea cannery plant and the recent downsizing of StarKist has dramatically increased the number of displaced workers in the territory's workforce.