I write in response to your front page story titled “P.M. assures nation.”
In reading the suggestion of the P.M. about the workers displaced by the closure of Yazaki, he offers a ‘solution’ which is not a solution at all. Period.
Coming from an economist and 30 plus years in the job does not make logical sense. Before we forget, he does have an M.C.I.L. doesn’t he? The following paragraph comes handy: straight from The Labour and Employment Act 1972. 7 (a) “To provide the services of an employment exchange for the purpose of indicating to workers seeking employment where there may be suitable employment opportunities, assisting employers to obtain manpower, and advising persons who require occupational readjustment or training with a view to enable them to continue or resume employment.”
Does that tell you something of the role of the M.C.I.L in all this mess?
Those people are paid to solve the unemployment problem whenever it exists. Are they going to offer any “solutions”? Are they advising the P.M. of other decent avenues? Not that we have heard loud and clear.
Is the Chamber of Commerce getting its feet wet in this predicament? Or any employer for that matter (those eight families that control the economy of beautiful Samoa) that can make room for a skilled displaced worker?
Take your pick. Close to 1500 candidates. Pick the best ones only, leave the dead wood.
Essentially, what the P.M. is saying is to export our muscles for the benefit of countries that do not know how to use their own unemployed people for their own good. You know why? Because their unemployed people are too proud to pick up fruit. That job should be left to the Islanders. They say.
And the P.M. does not need much arm twisting to increase the seasonal workers numbers to the sky. Why they don’t ask China for fruit pickers? In fact there are other avenues. This is the time that the country should scrutinize really hard the “brains” of this country to give some viable ideas.
How come the people pay big tupe to the ministers and their C.E.Os and A.C.E.Os if it is not to solve the pressing country’s unemployment problem in this troubled times?
Do not forget that we also have 16% plus unemployed youth roaming the streets with their cell phones at hand. Are they expecting a call from a prospective employer? Remember they told them “I will call you.”
This is the time for those big salaried people in the government to think about the fates of their less privileged brothers and sisters. Most of them will return to their plantations, and in time of “shortage” of cash can only grab a boiled taro and a lemon tree leave tea.
The P.M. will assure you that there is “no poverty “ in Samoa. Your conscience will be your best advisor. Yazaki’s jobless people will join those that have been displace from Pago’s cannery, whether they like it or not.
In their minds both groups of unemployed people turn their unhappy faces to the mighty P.M. for help. And he says: “Go away to pick up fruit. I can’t think of anything else.”
Maybe we can ask for the stigmata girl to help us. Poor souls, they don’t deserve that kind of help. A country, any country at all, should make use, in the best possible way, of its human capital for the benefit of the people. By wasting this valuable human resource is a poor reflection of the government’s policies. By saying we will expand the seasonal workforce does hurt the country tremendously.
Why? Look we have uncultivated land everywhere, while some very industrious farmers make the best use of them, some grow completely frustrated due to the indifference of the government (M.A.F.F.). A Ministry that does not have a trained Agriculture Extension Service to help the farmers, in situ, not sitting on their you know where, pushing worthless papers. The action is at the farmers’ site not behind their desks.
Think sufficiency not dependency; think problem-solving not milking the cow every 2 weeks. Ask yourself: with the (enormous) salary they are paying me, am I contributing to my beautiful country agricultural progress? By trying to push people to do somebody’s job, separating them for their families, for a few more Tala is not worth it at all?
Those jobs the P.M. is talking about are dead end jobs (fruit pickers and carpenters). Do Australia and N.Z. have unemployed people, that could fill the fruit pickers’ job? Oh no. Their unemployed people are too proud to do that demeaning job. It should be left to the Islanders.
Is China lending its cheap labour to other countries to pick fruits? No Sir. They are using them to inundate the global market by producing affordable items, that would benefit those that are not making 200, 000 Tala plus.
And by the way they don’t justify their salaries at all. Ministries such as Agriculture, Health, Education, mainly, are just spending the hard earned money of the people to run an inflated, ineffective bureaucracy, and as long as the people tolerate them. Accountability? What is that?
Corruption, that is the modus operandi. Hello Mr. Chief Auditor! We are waiting.
Those fruit pickers after a short stay abroad, do not help the country. (If they (fruit’s owners) use the seasonal workers all year around, then that is help) The remittance guys do. Yes, they send some extra money, money that will ended up in the local supermarkets to buy processed food and as such endangering the health of the population (obesity= more flesh more worms).
Those parents here who don’t’ receive tupe from abroad resort to sending their kids to the dangers of the streets (some to sleep there) rather than go themselves, as they should, make the needed cash to send their kids to school.
Enough of all that.
Now for solutions. Shall we let the upcoming unemployed bite the bullet for no fault of their own? The pain is the same regardless of the causes. Isn’t it?
They need a job (at least 90% of them) and it is a sacred duty for the government and private industry to share this human misery. Shall we trust the government’s big salary people to come up with a workable answer? Don’t hold your breath man!
Private industry have the blessing to have in their hands a lot of skilled ex-employees ready to show their new employers what they are made of. Don’t they? My advise to employers: get rid of all the dead wood and get the best skilled people at hand. This is a fact. There is no such a thing as job security, anywhere, only ability security. Besides, no matter how hard you have worked, and how loyal you were, nobody owns you a job! Their best assets are their acquired skills and abilities to sell to best employer. Do not cheapen yourself.
Ultimately it is every man for himself.
Hope you have saved to ameliorate the jobless-- time gap. If you haven’t, in the future try to live with only 90% of your earnings. Watch for those fa’alavelaves and the pastors’ long hands. Your excuse: “no job yet sole.”
My guess: Some with entrepreneurial mind will go into business for themselves;(if S.A.C.E.P was or is giving up to 16,00 tala, is S.C.B matching that or just lowering their risk by offering peanuts to “low earners”) others, hopefully, will fight for the right job, others, sadly, will accept anything, some will give up after a while. As for the rest: if you know what you are good at, a job is waiting for you. If I can be of any help, as a job counselor, email me:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Free, of course.