18 Jan 2007

American Samoa congressman meets cannery officials over wage hike bill

3:44 pm on 18 January 2007

American Samoa Congressman Faleomavaega Eni met today with tuna cannery officials in Washington to discuss the federal minimum wage bill.

There are concerns in American Samoa the wage rise provided for under the Bill could have a devastating effect on the territory's tuna canneries.

The Bill has already passed the U.S. House and is to be considered next week by the U.S. Senate

Faleomavaega says officials of the canneries requested a meeting with him because they want to coordinate any efforts that might take place on Capitol Hill.

He says these corporations realise that this is a sensitive issue and everyone must be united in their stand.

At this point, Faleomavaega says everyone is in agreement that American Samoa's economy cannot handle U.S. minimum wages because this would cause the collapse of the local tuna industry and would devastate the local economy.