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Thai Union Will Close Its US Samoa Plant – Wages Too High

The tuna cannery in American Samoa – which is part of the Thai Union Frozen group - is closing in part because of a rise in the minimum wage mandated by recent changes to federal law.

Thai Union its subsidiary San Diego-based Chicken of the Sea International says it will close its COS Samoa Packing plant at the end of September.

The cannery has more than 2,000 workers and is one of the territory's largest employers.

Gov. Togiola Tulafono says the company told him labor costs contributed to its decision.

Minimum wage rates the U.S. territory once varied by industry, ranging from less than $4 to just over $5.

But Congress passed a law last year mandating new minimums to be introduced by 50 cent increments every six months.

The rate will stop climbing in July once it hits $7.25, the federal minimum wage.
Yesterday Thai Union announced it will build a new tuna plant in Lyons, GeorgiaUSA – which will process canned tuna from imported frozen pre-cooked tuna loins.