30 Jan 2008

American Samoa businessmen oppose next round of minimum wage hikes

10:41 am on 30 January 2008

The American Samoa Chamber of Commerce says the territory must act to stop the next round of wage hikes under the federal minimum wage law due to go into effect in May.

Commenting on a just-released Department of Labour report, Chamber President, David Robinson, says it is unfortunate that the report did not go into detail about the effects of the initial wage hike last year and the compression effect of that increase.

But he says the report was thorough and highlighted the adverse effects of the escalator provision in the wage law.

"Something has to be done very quickly to make sure that congress pays attention to the removal of that escalator clause from the bill. And the second very important point that's highlighted by the report, is the situation that the canneries find themselves in. That things are changing within threir industry, production is changing, packaging is changing the marketing of their product is getting tougher and tougher."

David Robinson says both locally and globally, the canneries can't support any additional costs on their operations.