MINIMUM WAGE FOR AMERICAN SAMOA CANNERY

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WORKERS INCREASING

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (June 26, 1998 - Samoa News)---The minimum wage for cannery workers, both StarKist Samoa and Samoa Packing, is increasing by 7¢ per hour effective July 1, this year.

And in six months an additional 4¢ an hour will be added on to increase the minimum wage for the largest group of workers in American Samoa to $3.21¢ an hour.

The increases were approved by a Special Industry Committee.

Under federal law, local minimum wages are established by a Special Industry Committee that is supposed to meet every two years to review and revise the wages.

Although the wages will have a dramatic impact on StarKist Samoa’s costs, Barry Mills, who was recently promoted as the Company’s Vice President of North Tuna Operations (including the American Samoa operation), told Samoa News yesterday that there will be no reduction of the work force within the local StarKist family.

"We’re reducing costs elsewhere within our operations and we will maintain the workforce," reiterated Mills. In fact, the company is advertising for a "couple of hundred fish cleaners," noted the Vice President.

The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act contains a provision that exempts American Samoa from the federal minimum wage and establishes a Special Industry Committee that sets local wages instead.

The two canneries are the second largest employer in the territory, behind the American Samoa Government.

SAMOA PACKING TO BUY CANS FROM STARKIST

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (June 25, 1998 - Samoa News)---Samoa Packing cannery will no longer have to import cans for its local plant at Satala. Instead they will purchase them locally.

Samoa Packing has reached an agreement with StarKist Samoa for the cans to be manufactured locally by StarKist, instead of Samoa Packing importing them from off-island.

StarKist Samoa’s Vice President of North Tuna Operations, Barry Mills, declined to reveal the details of the agreement, but pointed out that it is part of the company’s expansion of its can manufacturing operations.

Mills stated that Samoa Packing will be purchasing 200 million cans a year from StarKist Samoa, and an expansion of the company’s can manufacturing facilities is under way.

StarKist Samoa plans to dedicate the new facilities during the first week of July, with the first shipment of cans scheduled to be delivered to Samoa Packing early in August.

Stories from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to samoanews@samoatelco.com

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