23 Jun 2007

APIL conference in American Samoa told of minimum wage hike concerns

9:49 am on 23 June 2007

The American Samoa delegation to the 26th general Assembly of the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures is highlighting economic challenges the territory is facing as a result of the federally imposed minimum wage hikes.

In remarks at the opening session of the APIL conference the speaker of the House Savali Talavou Ale said the 50 cent hike to go into effect next month and subsequent yearly increases for the next few years has put the territory in a state of uncertainty.

He says an estimated percent of local businesses depending on the canneries for part of their businesses will be severely affected, which will lead to laying off some workers.

But Savali Talavou Ale says it's not only their country that's feeling the pinch.

"American Samoa economic uncertainties is characteristic of all Pacific islands thus necessitating the need for us to come together to share successes and experiences so we can increase our economic stability."