23 Jan 2012

Cultural pressures affecting Samoan workers

4:13 pm on 23 January 2012

The vice president of the Samoa Chamber of Commerce, believes Samoans don't have a bad work ethic, but there are more cultural demands placed on them that can affect their work.

A Samoa business owner of nearly 20 years said earlier this week that she would rather employ Filipinos and Fijians saying many Samoans have poor work habits.

The Chamber of Commerce's Papalii Grant Percival, says business owners are starting to favour hiring immigrants over locals.

But he says Samoans don't live in isolation of their culture.

"Culture incorporates the current practices within the churches as well. At the end of January, beginning of February, my workers all have commitments to make to both their church and to school and they're going to have to make those commitments regardless of whether they have income or not. You have to try and accommodate that demand, because there's nothing you can do about it."

Papalii Grant Percival says it's difficult for Samoans to separate their work from their family and cultural demands.