2 Jul 2009

Petition in American Samoa to repeal federal law on wage hike circulates

10:52 am on 2 July 2009

A petition in American Samoa asking the United States President Barack Obama to repeal the federal law setting local minimum wages begins circulating today.

The petition is also seeking to return the process of setting wage rates to the territory's Special Industry Committee.

Spearheaded by American Samoa's Chamber of Commerce, the petition will be distributed to businesses, churches, villages and government agencies.

The petition maintains that it is inappropriate and unrealistic to apply mainland wage standards to American Samoa's small, isolated economy and asks for the U.S. President to take action.

It wants the increases reversed leaving only the initial 50-cent per hour increase and reinstate the Special Industry Committee process for determining minimum wages in the territory.

The government is facing a severe financial shortfall as tax revenues decrease and it is now predicted that as many as 7,500 people will lose their jobs this year.