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SAVALI ISSUE 36: DATED 9 SEPTEMBER 2020 | SAVALI 36: ASO 9 SETEMA 2020.

SAMOA, September 8 - 1,200 RSE WORKERS RE-EMPLOYED DESPITE COVID19 SETBACKS

By: Joshua Lafoa’i

Close to 1,200 Samoan RSE workers in Australia and New Zealand have been re-employed despite the employment cutbacks across the horticulture and viticulture in these two countries due to the COVID19 pandemic.

The latest data from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labor (MCIL) is reassurances to Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi that the RSE program will continue despite the virus.

“The seasonal workers opportunities are critical to the growth of New Zealand and Australia’s economy, so it’s highly unlikely that it would stop,” he said.

He noted that the economic impact and spinoffs of the RSE program for both countries is also on line if there is an absence of seasonal workers from the Pacific including Samoa.

Since the COVID 19 pandemic, over a 1,000 Samoa RSE workers have been repatriated during the last 5 months.

This does not include an estimated 4,000 Samoan citizens remaining in Australia and New Zealand for other employment opportunities.

From the 4,000, about 1,200 are RSE workers whose contracts have been renewed to work in the next coming season, confirms MCIL.

The rest are working in New Zealand and Australia for various contracts under the Agriculture/livestock and/or the hospitality employment scheme.

Tuila’epa says the numbers reaffirms the solid trust by Australia and New Zealand on the capacity and integrity of Samoa’s working force.

Meanwhile, MCIL like the rest of Government is keeping a watchful surveillance on the developments of the COVID19 in the Tasmania and latest report confirms that none of the Samoan residents and RSE workers abroad have contracted the virus.

September 11, 2020