CAUSE OF TROUBLE AT AMERICAN SAMOA'S DAEWOOSA FACTORY CONTESTED

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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (April 28, 1999 - Samoa News)---The claim that four Vietnamese women labeled as "troublemakers -- and now under the care of the American Samoa Government in a shelter -- were the instigators of the work stoppage at the Daewoosa Samoa garment factory has been contested by their lawyer.

"They were labeled troublemakers when these women went outside of the Daewoosa Samoa compound to find food to eat, because they were not fed for one day," said their attorney, Barry Rose, from the law firm of Rose & Joneson during testimony before the House Rules Committee yesterday.

Rose appeared before the Committee to tell his clients' side of the story in the second hearing ordered by the Speaker of the House following letters of concern from Congressman Eni Faleomavaega and Vietnam's U.S. Ambassador as a result of allegations of mistreatment of Vietnamese citizens at the Daewoosa Samoa garment plant in Tafuna.

In his testimony presented before the Committee, Rose wanted the record to show that the American Samoa Government is not in any way connected or involved with the current problem that has now put Daewoosa Samoa under public scrutiny.

Rose extended his appreciation to Governor Tauese Sunia, Lieutenant Governor Togiola Tulafono, Attorney General Toetagata Albert Mailo and Assistant Attorney General Fiti Sunia for all the help the government has provided.

"Governor Tauese has promised to get personally involved and he is using every resource necessary to resolve this matter," said Rose, noting that the problem was created by Daewoosa Samoa, as he said the facts will show.

DAEWOOSA WOMEN MAY FACE "GRAVE DANGER" IF DEPORTED

PAGO PAGO, Samoa (April 28, 1999 - Samoa News)---Because the Vietnamese women at the center of the allegations of mistreatment at the Daewoosa Samoa garment factory have been labeled "troublemakers to be deported" by Daewoosa owner Mr. Lee, they face serious consequences upon returning to their home.

Additionally, they will face a Vietnamese Government hearing, which may result in their being unable to work anywhere else. Their families may face similar consequences.

This testimony was presented before the House Rules Committee yesterday by Mr. Ming, an official of the Vietnamese Government-controlled business that hired the women (IMS). This statement raised serious concerns about human rights violations for the clients of Attorney Barry Rose, the lawyer for the four Vietnamese workers whose jobs were recently terminated.

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