15 Mar 2010

Government cutbacks in American Samoa

11:37 am on 15 March 2010

American Samoa's Governor Togiola Tulafono has instructed his cabinet to prepare for spending cutbacks which would include reduction in hours and possibly furloughs.

This comes as a direct result of the federally-mandated increase in minimum wages and the closure of the Samoa Packing cannery.

The governor says Washington has refused to listen to pleas from territorial leaders that the wage hikes would be detrimental for the territory's fragile economy,

"Yesterday in my Cabinet meeting, I announced to all departments to start working on a process to figure out how we are going to be able to adjust ourselves to less money. Which may include reduction of jobs, reduction of hours, may even be closing or furlough. And we've been fighting these kind of things."