7 Jun 2007

American Samoa business effect of minimum wage hike will be indirect

11:38 am on 7 June 2007

Members of the business community in American Samoa say they will not be directly affected by the minimum wage increase but they will be affected indirectly if the canneries in the territory were to reduce operations.

American Samoa Chamber of Commerce members met yesterday to discuss the minimum wage bill which would bring American Samoan pay rates up to those on the mainland.

Chamber secretary Jason Thomas said most of the businesses said they were already paying more than the minimum wage in their industries.

However, he said there was a genuine concern about the future of the canneries because local businesses cannot cement their plans to offset the impact of the wage hikes without knowing the canneries plans.

He said members also felt that the federal wage legislation is the result of politics and as such it is really the government which must shoulder the responsibility of helping cushion the effects of what has developed.