21 May 2007

American Samoan minimum wage hike may be curbed

3:59 pm on 21 May 2007

A last minute reprieve may be in store for American Samoa after three U.S. Senators supported efforts to stop plans to introduce a local minimum wage.

Delegates Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin of American Samoa and Donna M. Christensen from the Virgin Islands have been urging members of a U.S. Senate-House conference committee to adopt an amendment to pending federal legislation.

In a letter from these delegates, plus Hawaii Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka and New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman, they offer amendments that would provide for an initial increase of 35 cents 60 days after enactment.

Subsequent biennial increases will be determined by the Secretary of Labor.

Current provisions in the measure, which is attached to the controversial Supplemental War Spending Bill, mandate an increase of 50 cents in territorial wages 60 days after passage, and an automatic 50 cent increase for the following two years.