Union database records 3000-plus seeking jobs

By Ueni Peauala Pauulu 16 July 2021, 3:00PM

A local labour union has revealed 3,000-plus people registered their employment challenges on their database, in a stark reminder of the pandemic’s impact on Samoa’s employment sector.

Samoa First Union Executive Officer, Seveaoga Saina Setu, told the Samoa Observer the majority of those who registered on their database are laid-off workers and job seekers keen on joining the seasonal workers programme.

She said it is the first time for their organisation to record a large spike on their database in their six years of operation and people also walk into their office asking for help.

“What we look at now from our own side of perspective as representatives for employees of the private sector, it’s a massive increase in the number of laid-off workers and job seekers in Samoa,” Seveaoga said in an interview.

“Our database at the moment is now more than 3000 people without work that have been recorded in both Savaii and Upolu.”

The normal functions of the Samoa First Union is to protect and fight for the basic rights of workers in Samoa, according to Saveaoga, and they would normally attend to matters dealing with the National Provident Fund and health and safety issues.

“Our usual job is to provide help to our registered members with issues regarding their jobs like N.P.F., salaries, health and safety, basic rights and leaves.

“But it’s the first time ever since we have been established here in Samoa that we  have had a lot of visitation by jobseekers.”

Currently, the labour-focused organisation has over 2000 registered members whom they offer support to, says Saveaoga. 

Our registered members are more than 2000 people and we have offered them support and the help we can not only to our registered members but also visitors who need help by filling up their application forms and other help we can offer.”

In 2019 Seveaoga travelled to Australia and met up with Australia First Union and agreed to form a partnership to offer support for all members of the union.

“All our members who travelled through seasonal workers to Australia have joined the Australian First Union because they know that these are the only organizations that can stand up for them and their issues regarding their jobs,” she added.

She said the organisation is hopeful more opportunities for employment overseas will become available for Samoans to enable them to support their families.

By Ueni Peauala Pauulu 16 July 2021, 3:00PM
Samoa Observer

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