23 May 2007

American Samoan chamber of commerce supports increases to minimum wage

1:34 pm on 23 May 2007

The American Samoan Chamber of Commerce is supporting moves by the U.S. to increase the territory's minimum wage.

But, this is qualified by the chamber's secretary, Jason Thomas, saying the support is based on whether it's economically viable to do so.

An amendment is being taken to Washington to reduce the proposed increase in the current bill from 50 U.S. cents an hour to 35 cents an hour with any further increases to be discussed, not imposed.

Mr Thomas says this might work better for the economy.

"The chamber does support an increase in the minimum wage in American Samoa as long as it's economically viable for that to happen. Obviously we don't want to create a situation where the economy is hurt in any way by having to take these increases in the minimum wage."

The minimum wage in American Samoa can be as low as 2 dollars and 65 cents an hour while the U.S. minimum is currently 5 dollars and 15 cents but that's expected to eventually increase to 7 dollars and 25 cents.