AM. SAMOA FACES MAJOR LAYOFFS AT TUNA CANNERY

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Sole remaining cannery to cut workers in half

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 13, 2010) – Up to 1,000 cannery workers in American Samoa may lose their jobs as the remaining tuna factory looks set to halve its staff.

The co-chair of the American Samoa governor’s economic advisory council, David Robinson, says with a workforce of 15,000, the territory’s economy will suffer badly with the predicted job losses.

He says the cuts being made at the cannery are aimed at keeping the business running, with 1,000 workers expected to remain.

"We’re under constant pressure of course with only one cannery left to see what we can do to help preserve their business. If anything should happen to them then we’d be in quite serious economic problems here in the territory."

David Robinson says 2,000 jobs were lost last year when a cannery closed, prompting a loss of exports and a drop in the territory’s Gross Domestic Product.

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