15 Sep 2010

More support for American Samoa task force to help cannery

3:18 pm on 15 September 2010

The American Samoan Senate has endorsed a House resolution that requests the governor to set up a task force to look at ways in which the government can assist in reducing operating costs of the StarKist Samoa cannery.

The task force was requested by StarKist Samoa's general manager, Brett Butler, during his appearance before the House in March and then by the CEO and President of StarKist, Don Binotto, when he addressed the Fono in May.

The measure introduced by the chairman of the House commerce Committee, Alexander Jennings, says with additional layoffs anticipated at StarKist within six months, the formation of a task force and imoves to help the cannery reduce operating costs would avoid further lay-offs.

It also says it would improve StarKist's sustainability in American Samoa in the long term.

According to the resolution, the task force would include representatives of StarKist, the executive and legislative branches, the American Samoa Power Authority and other agencies the governor deems proper.

An invitation will also be extended to the territory's member of the US Congress, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, to designate a representative.