PSA Strike Cripples Post Office

To mark the 40th Anniversary of the Samoa Observer, a series of selected articles printed over the last 40 years will be re-published in the next two weeks, to show our readers the issues covered by this newspaper over the years and the personalities that made the headlines. 


First Published: 9th April – 1981

The Public Service Association (PSA) strike begun on Monday for an indefinite period has virtually crippled the telecommunication service provided by the Post Office for overseas countries. 

International toll call service has been shutdown. Except for private telex communications, the general public has been virtually handicapped by the near absence of the Post Office telex and telegram service during the day. 

And after 5pm, every day when the Post Office’s newly installed satellite station at Afiamalu has been closed down, the private telex operations are automatically cut off. 

To provide the essential telecommunication services to overseas for death notices and such, the Post Office under an arrangement with the American Samoa telecommunication network are relaying messages through them. 

And the incoming mail has been piling up unsorted. The Post Office Director, Ward Williams said yesterday the situation was reaching a critical stage. 

“We hope that this matter would be sorted out soon,” he said. 

Williams said five people have been recruited to sort out the mail but it will take a few days before the customers could expect letters in their mail boxes. 

Meantime the complete shutdown of the Post Office is causing inaction in other sections of the Post Office. 

The saving accounts section including the money order remittances from overseas division are left unattended. 

And Williams is concerned because this is the time of year when people overseas send money for the Easter Holidays. 

“It’s unfortunate and we hope the matter will be resolved shortly,” he said. 

The Post Office employs some 300 people. Only a handful are barely keeping the service going.

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