An American Samoan senator, Galeai Tuufuli, says a higher minimum wage will boost buying power and put more money into the economy.
The next federally mandated increase in the local minimum wage is set to go into effect on September 30th, when a freeze that has been in place for several years expires.
The Manu'a senator says prices have gone up, along with government charges and taxes, but
wages have remained the same.
The major employer, StarKist, has said it may be forced to lay off workers if the rise goes ahead but Galeai says it is time the cannery started paying people what they are worth.
"We can say that they have been here for so long and they have taken everything out of the workers except their skin. Even their hearts are gone and their brains are gone, because of the way they were treated for the last 20 or 30 years. It's about time they faced the facts and paid these people the right amount of money."