American Samoa's representative in the US Congress Aumua Amata has appealed to fellow lawmakers to support her call for financial assistance to cannery workers who are losing work for six weeks.
Up to 2000 workers at StarKist Samoa will be out of work until 26 November because the plant is closing for upgrades intended to make it environmentally sound and efficient.
Aumua has asked the Department of Justice to consider helping the workers using part of a $US6.3 million fine on StarKist for wrongfully discharging waste.
The congresswoman made an emotional plea to the House of Representatives.
"Over this Thanksgiving, 2,000 of our families are being put out of work and small businesses will lose commerce.
"American Samoa's only large employer closes for a period of six weeks. American Samoa has high unemployment and low incomes.
"I ask our colleagues to join me in recognising the burden our federal government is placing on American Samoa."