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Over 800 jobs were lost in the first six months of the Covid-19 State of Emergency which is a year old this month.
This is a finding of a COVID-19 Rapid Assessment Impact survey conducted on 119 private companies by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) office in Apia between December 2019 and June 2020.
“It is quite an impact on the private sector business who could not continue due to the effect of COVID-19. Hugely affected is the tourism sector especially for those in the car rental businesses, tour guides and hotel suppliers,” said the ILO Co-ordinator in Samoa, Laufiso Tomasi Peni.
Between December 2019 and June 2020, 893 lost jobs with 152 remaining as employees and if things return to normal, 86% of companies would not increase employment rolls again.
The starling figures prompted ILO and partners to call a bipartite meeting with employers and employees last month to address the issue.
“We try to organise the employers and employees without the presence of the Government so they could speak freely in identifying their priorities, or where they need to prioritise for the next in-country program for Samoa 2021-2024,” said Laufiso.
He said they are also working on the Employment Policy 2021-2025.
The main goal according to Laufiso is that at the end of the day, both the employer and employee can sit together and create one action plan, one voice and one document to present to Government.
ILO can assist with the companies COVID-19 recovery programme and the company provides the set of priorities and action plan they think is much needed.
Samoa may not be directly affected by COVID-19, but people are feeling the impact through different aspects of life.
A follow up survey in the pipeline and Laufiso relies on ILO constituents that include the Samoa Congress of Workers, Samoa First Union and Government entities to call another meeting with the private sector.
SOURCE: TALAMUA ONLINE/PACNEWS
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