2 Sep 2009

American Samoa government says no to minimum wage subsidies for canneries

11:49 am on 2 September 2009

The American Samoa government says it supports the basic subsidies proposed in the American Samoa Protection of Industry, Resources and Employment, ASPIRE plan for tuna processors and fishing boats that directly deliver fish to the territory.

However it says it does not support a provision for the canneries to receive an additional subsidy if minimum wages are increased.

Governor Togiola Tulafono told the Chamber of Commerce he is trying to work with Congressman Faleomavaega to separate the minimum wage issue from the ASPIRE legislation which is due to be introduced in Congress next week.

"Because if this does go through then the minimum wage is going to reach $7.25 by 2014. Unfortunately the canneries will get subsidised but none of you will, the government will not."

American Samoa Governor Togiola Tulafono