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StarKist taking a two-week shut down for structural upgrades


Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — StarKist Samoa plant is temporarily shut down for two weeks, as the largest private employer in the territory carries out structural upgrades at the Atu’u-based cannery.

Some cannery employees told Samoa News early last week of being informed by their supervisors of a pending shutdown of about 2 weeks to allow the company to conduct building and maintenance upgrades. Contractors were scheduled to arrive from off island over this past weekend, along with equipment, on an incoming Hawaiian Airlines charter flight.

Responding to Samoa News queries StarKist corporate spokesperson Michelle Faist confirmed that StarKist Samoa will be temporarily closed for two weeks “in order to complete structural-related upgrades.”

“As a result, the StarKist Samoa plant will be shut down starting on Saturday, March 18. We plan to resume production on Monday, April 3,” said Faist in a brief statement last Friday, but didn’t reply to other Samoa News questions, such as — whether StarKist is chartering the incoming flight from Honolulu last night (Sunday).

The local Hawaiian Airlines office issued a notice last week that the airline was to operate a special flight on Sunday, Mar. 19, with the incoming flight from Honolulu, a charter operation, and the outbound flight from Pago Pago taking passengers.

Hawaiian Airlines corporate office in Honolulu didn’t immediately reply to Samoa News’ request to confirm whether or not the flight was chartered by StarKist.

Samoa News understands that StarKist chartered the flight after contractors were unable to get seats on Hawaiian Airlines regularly scheduled flights.