Seasonal workers in Aus, N.Z. to be redeployed
Samoan seasonal workers in Australia and New Zealand will continue their work placements after their contracts have expired due to the coronavirus.
The contract extensions were announced by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour, Pulotu Lyndon Chu Ling on Friday.
He conveyed his warm greetings to all seasonal workers overseas from their families, his Ministry and the Samoan Government.
“We are aware that the majority of our Seasonal workers are all eager to return home when their work placement has come to an end,” he said.
Pulotu added that due to the coronavirus, both the Australian and New Zealand Governments, and their respective employment providers, have extended seasonal workers’ work visas.
This is to enable them to stay and be redeployed in different farms and orchards in these countries, during the lockdown period, thus ensuring that you are legally staying in these countries.
“We are also not certain at this state of the longevity of the lockdown period and border closures,” he said,
“And we are extremely happy to share with you that we have not received any reports from both countries of any of our seasonal workers being affected by COVID-19.
“Hence the reason why we should all give thanks to our Lord and praise His name for His love and protection upon you all.”
The Ministry’s chief extended warm greetings from your families, our Ministry and your Government at these difficult times of lockdown.
“I trust you are all safe and keeping well at farms and orchards you are working on and at the accommodations,” he said.
“Your Government is also on standby for a successful repatriation of all our seasonal workers should the borders and travel restrictions open again.
“We are aware that the employers have also kindly facilitated pre booked travel arrangements for all the workers.”
He also advised the seasonal workers that the Ministry will expect them to be informed once usual once arrangements are confirmed at their ends.
“As for now, we urged you to continue working with your current placements, maintain your productivity and earn more cash when you return home to your families and loved ones,” he said.
“Finally be patient, and adhere to the rules of isolation and stay alert at all times.
“[We convey] our sincere gratitude to all the employers for your continuous support of the Samoan workers and for ensuring measures are put in place for their health, safety and wellbeing under the current situation.”
Pulotu urged workers should they need any further information from their Ministry and Government to please get in touch with their Liaison Officers: Niuafolau Helen Uiese in New Zealand, and Aufai Fulisia Saleuesile in Australia.