Democrats pledge to extend federal minimum wage to all US territories - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Democrats pledge to extend federal minimum wage to all US territories

(Capitol Hill-AP) January 13, 2007 - House Democrats say a new minimum wage bill will be changed to cover all US territories - including American Samoa.

The pledge comes after Republicans this week accused the leadership of favoritism. They say the Pacific island chain was excluded because Del Monte Foods, which is based in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's California district, has a large cannery there.

But a spokesman for Pelosi says American Samoa was left out at the request of its non-voting delegate in the House. That delegate said raising the federal minimum wage would devastate the island's tuna industry.

The Labor Department reviews Samoa's minimum wages every two years.

The new measure does include in its coverage the Northern Mariana Islands, which had been shielded in the past with the help of former Majority Leader Tom DeLay and imprisoned GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Posted 9:22pm by Logan Smith

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