PHOTO: Some of the Samoan RSE workers bound for New Zealand to work at the Silver Ferns Farm during a pre-departure meeting with local government officials yesterday.
By Faye Seiuli
APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 23 OCTOBER 2018: New Zealand’s biggest meat processor, Silver Fern Farms is looking at employing 100 more Samoan RSE workers next month.
The RSE workers will be employed in the four Silver Fern Meat Processing operations in New Zealand including 40 in their new Pacific Plant.
This will add to 135 Samoan RSE workers already employed there on 10 months stints.
The 100 recruits were called to a pre-departure meeting yesterday where MCIL’s Chief Executive Pulotu Lyndon Chu Ling and Samoa’s New Zealand based RSE Liaison Officer Lemalu Nele Leilua gave them stern words to use the opportunities well.
“You carry the hopes of your wives, children, parents, family, your people and your government,” reminded Pulotu Chu Ling, CEO of MCIL, the implementing agency for the Seasonal Workers incentives for New Zealand and Australia.
“Do not waste this once in a lifetime opportunity by falling into temptation. Stay away from alcohol because it has been proven time and again as the cause of misery and termination of your contracts.
“Ruin it and you, your family and your village will face the consequences.”
On the ground, the New Zealand based RSE Liaison Officer Lemalu will not be taking no nonsense.
“You are not going to New Zealand to look for permanent residency by forgetting your matrimonial vows. And don’t think that you will get away with it under my watch,” warns Lemalu.
“Infidelity has led to many past workers fall from the RSE program and has left nothing but misery and embarrassment for their families and our government.”
Lemalu also encouraged the workers to always seek help when they have issues or questions as this is the fastest way to resolve any uncompromising situations which may arise during their temporary employments.
Unlike the New Zealand RSE seasonal employment in the horticulture and viticulture industries, the meat processing and packing business is all year round with staff including the Samoans getting at least two weeks in down time to return home visit families and then back to work subject to being rehired.
The Silver Fern Farms workers are paid a starting minimum wage of close NZ$20 an hour which is above New Zealand’s minimum wage of NZ$15.25.
The Silver Fern Farms Limited is a New Zealand multinational meat co-operative owned by 16,000 New Zealand sheep, cattle and deer farmers.
The company is New Zealand’s largest livestock processing and marketing company that has investments in manufacturing, meat processing, and transport of livestock, export logistics and meat marketing.