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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (Dec. 14, 2000 - PIDP/CPIS)---The territory’s largest private employer, StarKist Samoa, will shut-down operations for three weeks starting December 15th, says company official Dr. Meki Solomona.

The annual year-end shutdown occurs to allow the company to carry out necessary engineering and maintenance work, which normally is completed within two weeks. But this year, Dr. Solomona said, the company is cooperating with the government on its Phase III Road project by proving an additional week off for its workers.

Now in progress, the road widening and renovation project is progressing from Pago Plaza to the canneries, where the road is in its worst condition.

The cannery consented to the extra week off so that a major portion of the roadwork near the cannery can be accomplished without disrupting the cannery’s operations and worker arrivals and departures.

Before the company’s workforce departs the company compound Friday, Dr. Solomona said each member of the more than 3,000 workforce will receive two cases of wahoo for Christmas.

Only Christmas Day will be a paid holiday.

Workers are scheduled to return to work on January 8.

Since most of the cannery workers are from Samoa, the two local airlines are adding extra flights for the weekend to accommodate the anticipated increase in travelers.

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