Review seasonal work applicants: Tuilaepa

By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 20 January 2022, 9:22PM

The Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labour (M.C.I.L.) has been urged to review its list of seasonal work applicants before settling on a group of workers to send abroad.

The Opposition Leader and former prime minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, made the appeal to the MCIL last week during his weekly press conference at Petesa.

He said recent reports of Samoan seasonal workers dying abroad while on deployment justified the need for a review to be undertaken as it raises questions about their health.

The number of “broken families” after one of the parents leaves for either Australia or New Zealand is also a cause for concern, said the veteran politician. 

While agreeing that the issue is a “sensitive topic”, Tuilaepa said the Ministry should scrutinise the candidates they send overseas more effectively and discourage women, especially those with families. 

"This is not an easy matter to deal with," Tuilaepa said when responding to queries from the media. "Especially when it comes to matters affecting the relationship between men and women. 

“Some people have preferred money over their own families by going away for work, abandoning their families.

"And it's something that we should look at carefully because we see that it is happening and a lot of families have been broken because of their poor decision-making."

Tuilaepa said he is of the belief that it would be hard for the Minister in charge of the MCIL to come up with a solution to the problem. 

"But it is something we should address and consider,” he said. "I have also been thinking about it and tried to find ways to deal with the issue. 

However, I believe that it is something the Ministry should look at. 

"A lot has happened as a result of more and more people travelling overseas and not returning to their wives and children and a lot of families have been broken up as a result. "Therefore, I truly believe it's something we should address."

On the health side of things, Tuilaepa believes that the M.C.I.L. and the Cabinet needs to review the lists of the seasonal workers before they depart the country. 

"Some people who have been sent overseas are not in good health but they still take the opportunity to go,” he said.

"But the Cabinet needs to review all valid medical reports and the backgrounds of the selected candidates to avoid any issues while they are overseas."

"That should avoid the problem of our people dying while away on seasonal employment."


By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 20 January 2022, 9:22PM
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