25 Jul 2007

StarKist Samoa in American Samoa puts hold on expansion

10:18 am on 25 July 2007

Due to the new minimum wage increases StarKist Samoa has placed on hold the expansion of its tuna pouch production.

The largest cannery in American Samoa, which is owned by San Francisco-based Del Monte Food Incorporated, announced in March this year that the tuna pouch will provide an additional 300 new jobs in American Samoa.

Mary Sestric, Del Monte spokesperson says that due to the minimum wage increase, the StarKist pouch project remains on hold.

But she did not respond to inquiries regarding StarKist Samoa's plans, whether a reduction in workforce or production days is being considered in response to the wage hikes.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Labor yesterday issued a reminder to employers and employees in American Samoa about the new minimum wage hike of 50 cents per hour and goes into effect today.

After today's hike the next 50-cent increase goes into effect in May 2008 and every year thereafter until it reaches the new U.S. minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.