Father speaks out about hard work and little pay

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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SALARIES NEED TO BE FAIR: Tautele Apineru.

SALARIES NEED TO BE FAIR: Tautele Apineru.

Overworked and underpaid.

That’s a problem many people in Samoa experience.

Tautele Apineru, a father of four, knows this.

The man who works on a plantation shared his frustrations with the Village Voice yesterday.

“I work overtime a lot,” he said. “But I am not sure if I am receiving any extra money from this.”

Asked if he doesn’t have a pay slip which should tell him if he is being paid, he said he hardly looks at it.

But he said he is paid $3.50 an hour and he works five days a week.

With his children and a growing family, the farmer said there is hardly any money left as soon as he is paid. 

There are basic living costs to meet, not to mention the multitude of fa’alavelaves.

“I get paid per fortnight and once I receive that money, it goes by just like that,” he said. 

“If you think about how many things we need within our families, it is just not enough money.” 

He added that the cost of living has become extremely expensive.

It’s time for the government to review wages and help people like himself who feel that they are working so hard for very little. 

He also questioned the government about why administrative roles are always getting salary raises while there is nothing for hard labourers who brave the sun and rain to make so little.

“I’m sad about this,” he said. 

 “It is just not right that the government gets to consult with one another if they should raise their salaries when they are already so high while I lowly paid worker like myself continues to struggle with little money every week.”

Tautele said something has got to be done to ensure fair salaries for labourers whom he described as the backbone of the economy.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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