Olo rejects "insult" about Samoan work ethic

Dad, Mom, Children (D.M.C.) fast-food outlet owner’s comments regarding the conduct of local employees in the workplace is an "insult" to Samoans, said former Member of Parliament, Olo Fiti Vaai.

Earlier in the week, D.M.C. owner Tu’itu’ioaiga Teeking Weng complained about the difficulty in recruiting local staff due to high incidences of theft, absenteeism and lack of professionalism. 

“Samoa today have so many problems but it is very hard to change. For example, I hire you to work for me and you steal from me after a few months.

“For some, when they decide not to come to work, they just stay home without any information to us about whether they’re taking that day off or not so we can sort out the shifts.”

Olo said Tu’itu’ioaiga ought to take caution when stating broad statements, keeping in mind he is not in China.

"That's an insult to the people of Samoa because not every Samoan is like that. He needs to be careful when saying things like that," Olo, a former independent M.P. who recently had his seat vacated, said.

"I mean, he should speak with respect because Samoa is a democracy, a country with respectful customs and traditions while he comes from a communist country," he said.

"I am not racist. I just didn't think someone from China, a place which I thought people are very polite people would say something like this, especially when they are here."

Due to the poor track record of previously recruited staff, Tu’itu’ioaiga also told the Samoa Observer that all applicants should now provide reference letters from their church ministers and village mayors. 

“There is a need for them to train their behaviour,” he said. 

Currently, D.M.C. employees are paid above the $3 minimum wage with Tu’itu’ioaiga expressing disappointment that even a higher wage rate has not changed staff attitudes. 

“I give pay then $4.50 more than what they should normally get but they still behave like this,” he said. 

“Samoa is such a beautiful country but I’m finding it hard to hire people because the behaviour is not beautiful from some people.”

The D.M.C. restaurant chain recently opened an outlet at Moto’otua with another three under construction at Faleula, Puipa’a and Lotopa.

Meanwhile, the D.M.C. will expand to Savai’i as the company strives to expand its footprint by establishing 10-12 outlets in the country.

Olo was speaking on the sidelines of a Faatuatua ile Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) conference on Friday. 

Olo is a candidate for F.A.S.T. and had his seat vacated by the Speaker of Parliament under anti-party switching laws. He is suing the Speaker over the decision. 


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