|October 7, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|WASHINGTON, D.C.—INTERNATIONAL LONGSHORE AND WAREHOUSE UNION SUPPORTS FALEOMAVAEGA’S REQUEST TO RESUME THE FLOW OF CARGO TO AMERICAN SAMOA|
| Congressman Faleomavaega
announced today that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)
is supporting his request to move cargo to American Samoa.
“Because of the devastating impact the West Coast labor dispute could have on American Samoa, I contacted Mr. James Spinosa, International President of the ILWU and requested his assistance in resolving this situation. I also contacted the President and CEO of the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA). I have asked both organizations to support a waiver for American Samoa, and both the ILWU and the PMA must agree to a waiver before cargo may be shipped to American Samoa,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
“Within 15 minutes of receiving my letter, the ILWU sent a letter to the PMA insisting that American Samoa cannot wait another day to begin meeting its vital needs,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “I am pleased with the prompt attention that the ILWU has given this matter and I am hopeful that the PMA will also be as responsive to my request.”
“I have clearly explained to both the ILWU and the PMA that our Territory relies almost solely on West Coast carriers to deliver critically needed supplies of fuel, food, and medicines. I have also explained that our economy is more than 80% dependent on the U.S. tuna and fishing processing industries and that any decrease in production at one of our canneries could devastate our local economy resulting in massive unemployment and insurmountable financial problems.”
“Given the devastating consequences that this West Coast labor dispute will have on the U.S. Territory of American Samoa,” the Congressman said, “I am pleased that the ILWU is providing us with critically needed support for a waiver similar to that which has been provided to Alaska and Hawaii. I am also hopeful that the PMA will work with us so that the urgent needs of American Samoa may be met as quickly as possible.”
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