With the announcement of Yazaki’s closure, many in Samoa feel sympathy for those 700 plus people who will be left jobless.
As for the workers themselves, many are saddened by the fact that they will be losing their family’s only source of income.
For Si’u Iamanu, from the village Saleimoa, who has worked at Yazaki for a while now, the sad news was a huge blow to him emotionally.
With five children to take care of, the 38-year-old explained how heartbroken he was when he first heard the bad news.
“Right now a lot of us workers are very saddened,” he told the Samoa Observer.
“For me personally, my sadness has a lot to do with the children and their schooling because this job is the only way I can take care of their needs.
“The money I make from working in Yazaki has been the main source of income for my family and now I don’t know what I will do next.”
Si’u explained that it won’t be easy looking for a new job.
“The way I see it, we will have to go hunt for jobs so we can take care of our families again and I know it’s no easy task,” he said.
“We all have families to take care of. When we first heard the news of the company’s closure there was a weird feeling in my body. This is my source of money I just didn’t know how to take the bad news.”
It won’t be just the source of income that affects Si’u; for the hardworking father, this was more than just a job for him.
“It is like a very big family because you would come to work and even though you don’t know a person you would just go and make friends with them and have a conversation.
“I have so many memories here and now with its closure, it’s a big blow to all of us. It seems like the only option I have now is to go to the market to earn some money.”
Furthermore, Yazaki was a pathway to quick money for many of the workers.
“If I come one morning and I don’t have money then I can always find it here amongst the workers but now it looks like I’ll be one of those people who will be begging around town for bus fares.
“I was also able to get loans from the company when I was desperate for money.”
But it’s not all bad news.
For Valu Pelesagi from the village of Leauvaa-Uta, explained that Yazaki has come up with a way to compensate for those losing their jobs.
“On Tuesday and Wednesday the company distributed surveys for people to tick which sort of training they wanted to receive,” she said.
“The training will get each worker a certain certificate to help get them a job; training types range from tailor work, driving, printing material and so on. So starting next year, the training will begin.
“This initiative will help us who will be left jobless.”
The training that will be provided by Yazaki will help many of the 700 workers get back on their feet.
“Yes this job did help my family a lot but I am not afraid about the closure,” Valu said.
“The reason I’m not worried is simply because of the chance they are giving us through the training provided. We can use our certificates to get any job we want in line with which box we ticked on the survey.
“I am not sad because the company is helping us a lot. I have opted for material printing and driving training.”
For Sauiluma Anauta, from the village of Falelauniu, he agrees that this closure is not the end of the world for the workers.
“I am not sad at all because they have opened new doors for us,” he said.
“The training that they will provide will help us get another job that we want. The certificate we will get will give us many options. I have opted for a job as a lorry and a fork lift driver.
“I know that so many companies need these types of drivers so I will benefit a lot from that certificate. For many of us who don’t have graduation certificates, the wages we will be able to get is much more than those who don’t have certificates.
“You see, the wages we get without a certificate are very low because we start from the bottom. But with this certificate, our wages will start at a higher rate.”