The General Manager of Morris Scanlan Gas Station Toaalii Scanlan suggests that the territory handle its own problems without resorting to Congress.
He says, “If we keep pushing for change and more money with little to no results to show for it, the US will eventually give up on us.”
His comments are part of the American Samoa Chamber of Commerce’s position paper that was submitted to the General Accountability Office team reviewing the impact of the federally imposed minimum wage hikes on the territory’s economy.
Scanlan said, “We cannot expect local wages to match those of the mainland because there’s not enough volume of sales from the territory’s small population to absorb a spike,” as high as what is proposed.
“Without any real major economic developments taking place to induce a rise in money fluctuation. the minimum wage increase will have more of a negative impact.
One effect is that startup companies will not be able to survive, small companies will fall to the bigger companies and less jobs will be available.”
Scanlan recommends that contributions of employees to family obligations, or faalavelave should alsol be considered.
“If a quarter of an employee’s paycheck is going toward cultural needs each week, that is a major factor which should be included in the cost of living,” said Scanlan.