AMERICAN SAMOA GOVERNMENT MEETS VIETNAMESE LABOR OFFICIAL

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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (December 21, 2000 - PIDP/CPIS)---A senior official from the Vietnam government’s Ministry of Labor met with the Governor’s Legal Counsel Henry Kappel on three particular issues prompted by the problems between Daewoosa Samoa and its Vietnamese workers.

Nguyen Ba Hai heads up the Labor Market Division of the Ministry of Labor’s Department of Administration for Foreign Employed Labor Force.

Mr. Hai also reportedly met with the other visiting Vietnamese delegation from Tourism Company 12.

He has also met with some of the Vietnamese workers at the Daewoosa Samoa garment factory where a November 28 melee seriously injured a Vietnamese woman.

Kappel said the meeting with Mr. Hai centered around three issues. However, the melee was not fully discussed.

Mr. Hai wanted an update on the wages owed the Vietnamese workers, an issue that is now being investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor with the assistance of the local Attorney General Office.

Mr. Hai also wanted to know the number of Vietnamese workers who want to return home and those who want to remain in the Territory.

Kappel said the final issue of discussion with Mr. Hai concerned the export of his country’s labor force to countries around the world.

"Our local immigration laws were discussed in this matter," said Kappel.

 

AMERICAN SAMOA GOVERNMENT COMPLIES WITH COURT ORDER

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (December 21, 2000 - PIDP/CPIS)---The American Samoa Government will return the Country Club at the government owned Ili’ili Golf Course to former owners Bill and Apoua Tedreck on December 31, according to the Governor’s legal counsel Henry Kappel.

The date is a deadline mandated by the High Court.

Kappel said the action was being taken pursuant to a court order resolving a lawsuit filed last year by three lawmakers who challenged the legality of the government’s 1998 purchase of the Country Club assets from the Tedrecks.

The night club/restaurant is on government land, but the Tedrecks leased it and fixed it up.

The court ruled that the purchase was illegal and ordered the government to return the bar and restaurant to its former owners.

Kappel said the Tedrecks have been advised of the upcoming action. Details were not available but Kappel said negotiations on the terms of the return will resume shortly after Christmas.

The Tedrecks in a statement said they will meet with government officials before the transition and execute a full accounting of the club’s assets as well as an assessment of the condition of the premises and its equipment and fixtures.

"This could be problematic as the current management may lay claim to certain assets within the premises. Depending on what we find, the Country Club may have to be closed down for a period of time to allow for repairs, renovation and equipment replacement," said the Tedrecks.

 

RAINMAKER HOTEL WILL BE OFFERED IN A PUBLIC SALE

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (December 21, 2000 PIDP/CPIS) The public procurement process in the sale of the Rainmaker Hotel should be issued in less than two months, according to Governor Tauese Sunia.

The 180-room Rainmaker Hotel, which is 80% owned by the American Samoa Government, is in desperate need of repair.

Governor Tauese had once offered the hotel for sale for only $1 if the buyer would come up with enough money for renovation.

In the last three years there have been proposals from off-island buyers but nothing has been solid enough for the government.

There have been three offers within the past year, including an Australian company and a local company.

The owners of the local company reside in California and made political contribution during the campaign season.

Ron and Uso Miller said that they made two offers to the government to purchase the hotel.

The Miller’s latest offer that came in November was to purchase the hotel for $800,000 and invest another $6 million to renovate the 35-year hotel.

Tauese now says that the Millers will have the same right to respond, when the government issues a ‘Request for Proposals’ in less than two months, during the public procurement process.

The governor told reporters that he has been asked to wait and see if the government shares can be sold to local shareholders.

However, Tauese said, he is more inclined to put the hotel up for sale.

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