23 Jul 2012

American Samoa minimum wage freeze draws mixed reaction

1:31 pm on 23 July 2012

There has been a mixed reaction from workers in American Samoa to a US Congress decision to delay the next minimum wage increase until 2015.

The bill, which originated in the US Senate, is expected to be signed into law by President Barack Obama.

Vitale Tufuga, who works for a local construction company, says 2015 is three years away and by that time, the cost of living will have gone up and workers are faced with the hardship of trying to meet financial needs.

Aliitasi Fepuleai, a cashier at a local restaurant, is strongly against the delay, saying medical care fees went up recently and utility rates are going up again in October.

Alesana Afamasaga and his wife Fegauia'i, who work at the StarKist Samoa cannery, say perhaps it's better to maintain the current minimum wage instead of getting another increase that could cause another reduction in workforce.