22 Dec 2011

American Samoa business welcomes wage hike delay

8:06 am on 22 December 2011

The Chairman of the American Samoa Chamber of Commerce, David Robinson, has welcomed news that the US Senate has passed legislation to delay increases to the American Samoa minimum wages until 2015.

The bill has yet to be approved by the US House of Representatives.

A bill passed by the US Congress in 2007 required that the American Samoa minimum wage be hiked by 50 cents each year until it is on par with the federal wage of $7.25 an hour.

Three of those increments were implemented before Congress passed a suspension of the hikes for 2010 and 2011.

Mr Robinson says the suspension of the minimum wage hikes until 2015 will help the territory recover from the losses of the first round of wage increases.

"The three increases that we have had so far since this minimum wage bill was enacted have caused considerable problems in the local economy. The minimum wage has jumped up quite dramatically in all the eight sectors we have in the minimum wage classification. So this is very very good news indeed."

The Chairman of the American Samoa Chamber of Commerce, David Robinson