Friday, February 22, 2008

Samoa for, er, Samoans

A couple of Radio New Zealand International stories on the minimum wage hearing in American Samoa strangely echo what we've been hearing in the CNMI.

There's the American Samoa Chamber of Commerce, of course. They say any future wage increases should be based on a study of the economy. I guess they didn't like that Department of Labor report much either.

They add that, if the increase is not stopped, the canneries "will make some serious decision".
Here's the story.

A schoolteacher, one Peni Teo, has a different view which he's planning to share. His argument is that the raise is good for local workers. He says too much emphasis is placed on the canneries and that most of their workers are from Western Samoa.

He's quoted as saying “You’re looking at eighty, eighty five percent of the labour force or employees at the canneries are from Samoa and part of what I’m arguing for is that not only that labour force belongs to Western Samoa, those folks are now living here depleting land resources for families are well as government resources that really belong to the people of American Samoa.”

His view is available here.

1 comment:

lil_hammerhead said...

Peni's argument is especially strong as there are more American Samoans residing outside of American Samoa, than actually live there. If there is any place that can claim a "brain drain", it is American Samoa. Look at how many have been teaching in the NMI over the last decade.