5 Mar 2014

American Samoa's private sector unhappy with minimum wage hikes

11:22 am on 5 March 2014

The private sector in American Samoa has maintained its opposition to future mandated minimum wage hikes, but some in the business community say the government has also failed to foster new economic development for the territory.

This is according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) "draft" report on the impact on minimum wage on American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The final report will be released in April this year to the U.S. Congress.

The report says that 20 business representatives who met with GAO officials last November were opposed to additional minimum wage increases.

They also stated that previous wage hikes had been harmful to the local economy.

The report also says business representatives expressed frustration with American Samoa's lack of success in attracting alternative businesses to the territory.

Business representatives complained that the government had not fostered economic development and that its tax policies had created a poor business environment.

Meanwhile, the report cited cannery workers saying that they opposed further wage hikes which would result in lost jobs or a complete closure of StarKist Samoa cannery.