20 Jun 2012

US cannery in American Samoa hopes wage hike will be delayed

9:28 am on 20 June 2012

The United States based StarKist Company which owns the StarKist Samoa cannery in American Samoa, is hoping the US Congress will approve federal legislation that will delay the next 50 cent per hour minimum wage hike that goes into effect in September.

A Company spokesperson Mary Sestric confirmed that the StarKist Samoa now has a workforce of 2,000 - an increase of about 900 from two years ago.

Ms Sestric says StarKist is able to sustain this headcount due to the company's current greater degree of confidence in the underlying cost structure of manufacturing in American Samoa.

But as the next automatic wage increase nears, she says the global cost structure remains the same but StarKist's ability to make business plans and to keep cost structure as lean as possible is compromised.

Ms Sestric says StarKist hopes the US Congress will again delay the next scheduled increase in order to place American Samoa and its businesses in a globally competitive position, and a more stable position to plan for the future.

The next minimum wage hike is scheduled to go into effect on September the 30th and Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin is working with his Congressional colleagues to delay the hike.