Employees At Yazaki EDS Samoa Offered 'Transitional Support Packages'

Company to shutter plant, lay-off 750 workers

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, Oct. 27, 2016) – The 750 employees of Yazaki EDS Samoa have been offered Transitional Support Packages to prepare them for future career paths they wish to pursue when the company closes down for good at the end of 2017.

This was confirmed by Yazaki Samoa General Manager Funefe’ai Oliva Va’ai during a presentation at the Samoa Association Manufacturers & Exporters (SAME) members meeting last night.

The initiative according to Funefe’ai is to give something back to the people that have built the company locally in the past 25 years through the Transitional Support Package.

“Every employee at Yazaki has a package that will include an acknowledgement letter from the company’s President in Japan, and an encouragement for them to stay on until the company closes,” he said.

Besides the TSP, Funefe’ai said there will be incentives for every worker.

Transitional Support Package (TSP)

Before the workers decide the course they want to take, there was a one on one interview with all employees and a chance to discuss in depth issues with the management.

The TSP includes information on different courses and training programmes the employees can choose to undertake if they wish to do so.

The packages include internal trainings on various skills to be conducted at the company factory, and short courses offered at the Australian Pacific Technical College (APTC), the National University of Samoa (NUS) and the University of the South Pacific (USP).

Courses and trainings offers are on the Basic Life Skills Programs to Introductory Courses and Workshops designed to train and refresh knowledge on fundamental skills required to enhance everyday life in the village.

This program covers traditional Samoan printing, sewing, organic farming and vegetable gardening.

After the company surveyed the courses that drew the most interest, it was sewing that was on top of the list of small business most of the workers wanted to pursue.

However, sewing is not offered at the university hence Yazaki’s approach to SAME, if they can assist with training and work placements if need be.

Asked if agriculture ever came up as an option, Funefe’ai said no one is interested in working the field again.

Yazaki’s Financial controller Peseta Peter Tone said they have explored other options of keeping the workers and the factory by introducing other investment, however, the Japanese management said no as they are only good in automotive wiring and nothing else.

Yazaki’s Assistant Manager for Human Resource, Papalii Tate Simi said management believes the package offered is a good deal and is worthy of the long service rendered by the workers.

He said it would be very hard to break the family bond within the Yazaki environment.

Asked how long Yazaki management knew about the closure before telling the employees, Funefeai said, “as soon as it was confirmed from Japan, we addressed our workers first before we invited the media to make the announcement.”

SAME President Tagaloa Eddie Wilson commended Yazaki EDS Samoa for taking care of the workers and the initiative to approach SAME to discuss future options to take care of the workers.

He also requested a SAME tour of the Yazaki complex before closure next year.

Copyright © 2016 Talamua. All Rights Reserved

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