17 Jan 2012

Lavish ceremonies driving Samoans to steal, says employer

5:18 am on 17 January 2012

A Samoa business owner says the pressure on people to give generously at traditional ceremonies like weddings is driving some to steal.

The owner of Le Vai Limited in Apia, Fatima Strickland, fired seven employees last week for stealing, and had to close her purified drinking water business temporarily while she found new staff.

Mrs Strickland says there is a lot of competition to contribute lavish gifts and money at church functions and other gatherings.

She says the pressure stems from the home.

"There's so many Fa'alavelaves and pressure from the parents, and the home, and the church, and the village. 'We want this, that's not enough, your wages are not enough'. I think they should reduce all these funerals, the weddings, what they give."

Fatima Strickland says locals are gaining a reputation for being dishonest workers and says she would rather employ Filipinos and Fijians than Samoans.