Accused seasonal workers still working

Two seasonal workers accused of offending while employed under the seasonal workers scheme in Australia and New Zealand are still working pending their court proceedings.  

One of those seasonal workers is Junior Vaituutuu Timu of Vaitele and Aleisa who was recently charged in Australia for allegedly stabbing another work colleague.

Mr. Timu has an outstanding charge of attempted murder in Samoa, which is yet to be ruled on due to his accused being outside of jurisdiction.

The other seasonal worker in New Zealand, whose name has not been released, is facing a traffic offence of careless driving causing the death of Vaetasi Mati last month.

He is alleged to have been the driver of the vehicle with several other seasonal workers after a long hour shift.

In an interview with the Samoa Observer, Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labour, Chief Executive Officer, Pulotu Lyndon Chu Ling said the men are under very strict supervision by their employers.

About Mr. Timu, the C.E.O. said he reoffended in Australia while the Government is working on returning him to Samoa to appear before the court for his outstanding case.

He pointed out that the employer in Australia, including the Government of Samoa has a responsibility to care for the seasonal workers while they are away for work.

“He is under very strict supervision and we have a responsibility to support our people that are in those countries,” said Pulotu.

Similarly with the second seasonal worker in New Zealand, he said he is still working under the scheme pending his court case.

“We hope for the best for their matters that whatever the decision is [from Court] it is lenient towards them.

“We cannot neglect our own people and that is why we also have liaison officers and Embassies in those countries so they can be the point of contact and assist our people there.” 

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