Samoa now has an official union for seafarers aptly named the Samoa Seafarers Union (S.S.U.).
The union is led by president, Fred Amoa.
At the launching of the union at the Maritime School in Mulinu’u, Mr. Amoa said he wants everyone to know there is a union vested in seafarers now.
“This is to make known to the rest of the country and the seafarers that haven’t registered that we have a seafarers union now,” he said.
“We’re organizing this union to ensure that the seafarers are taken care of and also to work with the government agencies, especially employment opportunities for our qualified seafarers who have come out of the university,” he said.
Mr. Amoa also stressed the importance of having a union to help seafarers seek employment after they graduate from the Maritime School.
“When they come out they will need employment,” he said.
“This is where the union will come and try to help them get on merchant vessels and shipping companies overseas. The idea is to try and connect with fishing fleets that requite seafarers to work on their ships.”
“The seafarers union is now working under a work plan to implement a programme of activities pursuant to its objective. It is our hope that this union will be supported by the government and its ministries as well as the commercial private sector community.”
“It is our belief that we can source and find employment for our sea farers and with the support of our community this can be a very successful endeavour to find employment for many of our qualified seafarers.”
“We have seen large cruise liners bringing many tourists to our shore and the challenge is why can’t we have our seafarers working on these ships?”
“It is an issue that the union would like to explore with the relevant government ministries to supply seafarers to these ships that employ thousands on board.”