19 May 2006

American Samoa Senate continues hearing into canneries

10:27 am on 19 May 2006

American Samoa Senator Tuaolo Fruean says the canneries should raise their minimum wage to 5-US dollars per hour to attract and maintain employees.

Senator Tuaolo was the speaker during yesterday's Senate hearing on the two canneries whose officials told the Senate that they are having difficult in recruiting fish cleaners.

The canneries also say that they have a high turn over and its the reason they are constantly recruiting.

But officials of StarKist Samoa and COS Samoa Packing disagree saying that raising the minimum wage would adversely affect their company's "cost competitiveness".

Since 2003, the minimum wage for cannery workers is $3.26 per hour and efforts to increase it last year during the bi-annual wage review failed.

Local wages are set to be reviewed again next year.