22 Feb 2008

American Samoa Chamber of Commerce will urge US Subcommittee to remove hike

11:34 am on 22 February 2008

The American Samoa Chamber of Commerce will urge the House Subcommittee on Insular affairs to immediately remove the annual 50 cent hikes in the minimum wage but base any future increases on a study of the local economy.

The Chamber says in a statement that the origins of the federal minimum wage appear to have been motivated by political points scoring rather than a genuine concern for the people and the economy of American Samoa.

It refers to the fact that American Samoa was not included in the original minimum wage bill approved by Democrats but was included only after Republicans made issue of the headquarters of Delmonte the owners of Star Kist being located in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's electorate.

According to the chamber, the idea that the minimum wage in a small pacific island should become consistent with one of the world's largest economies seems quite absurd.

It says if the next 50 cent hike due may 25 is not stopped it's the chamber's opinion that the canneries will make some serious decision which will have a significant and detrimental effect on our economy.