25 May 2015

American Samoa wage document won't impress US Congress

12:04 pm on 25 May 2015

The American Samoa Chamber of Commerce says it doesn't believe the government's 'living wage' document is going to impress the U.S. Congress.

Last year, the governor directed the Commerce Department to prepare and justify a request to Congress to permanently remove the territory from the federal minimum wage law, with the justification to include a presentation of a locally developed 'living wage'.

The Commerce Department is expected to soon release the living wage document for public input.

At a meeting of the Chamber last week, its president, David Robinson, said what American Samoa needs to present to Congress is a very short and sharp document that articulates the problems the economy will face if another 50 cent wage rise goes into effect.

"I'm not so sure that a living wage document is necessarily going to be something that is going to impress the US Congress."

David Robinson says a lot of congressional members know the history of American Samoa's minimum wage, which went into effect in 2007.

Cannery, American Samoa

Canneries in American Samoa are opposed to federally mandated minimum wage hike Photo: Supplied

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs