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By Fili Sagapolutele

APIA, Samoa (July 19, 1999 – Samoa News)---How anyone can live on 1.40 Samoan tala (US$ 0.60) an hour working for the government is beyond belief by American Samoa standards, where wages are much higher than any other island in the region. But for government workers in Samoa, it is a fact of life as they try to make ends meet, not only within their families but also to pay for church and village obligations.

Samoa’s workers, especially those in the government sector, are awed by the difference in wages working for the American Samoa Government (ASG) is compared to working for the Samoa Government.

In June, the American Samoa legislature’s Industry Committee No. 23 recommended a minimum wage increase to $2.63 per hour, "effective immediately," for government employees, with an increase next year of another six cents.

When you change those dollar figures to Samoan tala, it shows that ASG workers make the equivalent of 7.40 Samoa tala per hour. This is compared to government workers in Samoa making the minimum wage of 1.40 Samoa tala per hour.

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

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