28 Aug 2015

American Samoan call for unity on wage issue

9:52 am on 28 August 2015

A common sentiment at an American Samoa Government meeting on the higher minimum wage being imposed by Washington is for the territory to present a unified voice on the issue.

The meeting comes just four weeks before a moratorium, which has frozen wage rates since 2009, expires.

The Department of Commerce says the 50 cents an hour rise would cost the territory $US11 million dollars.

The American Samoa Government supports the increase for its employees if the federal government fully subsidises it.

Both canneries are opposed, saying they cannot afford it.

The chairman of the House Government Operations Committee Faimealelei Anthony Allen says he understands the position of the canneries but he says there has to be some thought given for the workers.

He says the territory should take a single position on the matter.

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