Govt expels ten seasonal workers
The government has expelled ten seasonal workers from the Recognised Seasonal Employer (R.S.E.) scheme in New Zealand including their respective villages suffering the same consequence until further notice.
From the ten affected and named on the blacklist three of them have been removed for alleged extramarital affair.
Others have been terminated from the scheme for suspected theft, alcohol consumption and marijuana, assault and abuse.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi handed down the decision this week after being informed by Samoa’s Auckland based Trade Commissioner, Magele Mauiliu Magele and R.S.E. Liaison Officer in New Zealand, Lemalu Nele Leilua.
In a Press Secretariat statement, it stated the public notice approved by the Prime Minister sets the precedent for future incidents implicating Samoa Seasonal Workers.
“The Seasonal employment program will not and is not collateral damage due to the irresponsible actions by a handful of ungrateful Samoans,” said the Prime Minister.
“Time and again, I have personally advised all our R.S.E. workers before leaving to remember the importance of their seasonal employment engagement because it’s their families, children and their villages which are reaping the spins offs and fruits of their hard labour.
“Government is also not sparing any expense in securing new jobs for our people and we are the only country in the R.S.E. Program which has a pre-departure program to prepare the lucky workers handpicked for these jobs to cope with the demands of working overseas away from their loved ones and their comfort zones,” he added
Tuilaepa pointed out Samoa is also unique as the only participating Pacific Island country which has a R.S.E. Liaison Coordinator, Lemalu based in New Zealand complemented by the Auckland based Samoa Trade Commissioner, Magele
“Both officials are available 24-7 to provide support for the R.S.E. workers and to ensure that there is no hanky panky that will jeopardise the program and future job openings for Samoans,” he said.
“The Public Notice serves as the last straw and to re-enforce the government’s zero tolerance.
“It serves as a reminder and a discouragement to seasonal workers that disobedience and any undesirable behaviour which will compromise more jobs for Samoans will be weeded out without hesitation.”
Tuilaepa noted that as of now, close to 3,000 Samoans are benefitting from the two seasonal workers program with the New Zealand Seasonal Employees accounting for close to 2,500 jobs while the rest are working in Australia.
To that end, he said he has been informed that there are positive indications for more jobs opportunities for Samoans.
This is taking into account the increase to New Zealand’s R.S.E. annual gap for 9 Pacific Island countries in the program including Samoa to 12,850 workers.
“The irresponsible behaviour of a few which may jeopardise more jobs for two thousand Samoans on the R.S.E. waiting list will not be tolerated,” he emphasised.
“As of today and until further notice, the expelled workers and their respective villages are blacklisted from participating in the RSE programs until further notice.”
The list of expelled workers include;
Alatina Togiai – Gagaifolevaolefaga - terminated for Theft
Anatele’a Leituvaa – Poutasi - terminated for Alcohol consumption and fighting in a public bar
Ioane Falaniko Simolo - Poutasi and Pelesala Fiva- Matautu, Falealili axed for stealing beer from the Company’s Social Club and dangerous behaviour
Kirisimasi Nofomalo - Fasitoo-tai- expelled for Extramarital Affair
Sili Simiti - Satuimalufilufi – expelled for Extramarital Affair
Iose Ulafala Leuluaialii and Eli Salu both from Moataa removed for smoking marijuana
Luaigoa Taatiti Setu – Neiafu - expelled for bullying (assault) and extortion of money from workers abusing his role as Team Leader
Joshua Makisua (aka Joshua Nunu) – Tuaefu- for unauthorised leave from work and failure to return home when contract ended due to affair with Auckland woman. At last report, Joshua returned to Samoa earlier this month.