26 Jan 2009

American Samoa Committee to consider effect of minimum wage hike on territory

3:08 pm on 26 January 2009

American Samoa's House Commerce Committee has scheduled a hearing for next Friday to discuss how the territory has been affected by the first two increases in the local minimum wage and where efforts stand to stave off the next scheduled wage hike.

The Committee chairman, Alexander Jennings says officials from the Department of Commerce, Treasury, Human Resources and Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin's office will appear at the hearing.

Mr Jennings says a separate hearing will be held at which members of the private sector including the territory's biggest private employers, Star Kist Samoa and Samoa Packing will testify.

The hearings are in response to a query made by Representative Larry Sanitoa on whether there was an updated report on the impact of the federally mandated wage hikes.

Mr Sanitoa drew his colleagues' attention to the fact that the next increase to the hourly minimum wage was due in May.

The Chairman of the House Commerce committee has asked departments testifying next Friday to provide reports on the impact of the wage increases.