Pelosi’s Tuna Hypocrisy

pelosiLess than 100 hours in, and Pelosi can’t seem to stem the growing tidal wave of hypocrisy. This time it’s the minimum wage hike.

This from The Washington Times:

On Wednesday, the House voted to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour.
    

The bill also extends for the first time the federal minimum wage to the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands. However, it exempts American Samoa, another Pacific island territory that would become the only U.S. territory not subject to federal minimum-wage laws.
    

One of the biggest opponents of the federal minimum wage in Samoa is StarKist Tuna, which owns one of the two packing plants that together employ more than 5,000 Samoans, or nearly 75 percent of the island’s work force. StarKist’s parent company, Del Monte Corp., has headquarters in San Francisco, which is represented by Mrs. Pelosi. The other plant belongs to California-based Chicken of the Sea.

Patrick McHenry gets quote of the day though, to the obvious perturbing of Barney Frank:

During the House debate yesterday on stem-cell research, Mr. McHenry raised a parliamentary inquiry as to whether an amendment could be offered that would exempt American Samoa from stem-cell research, “just as it was for the minimum-wage bill.”
    

A clearly perturbed Rep. Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who was presiding, cut off Mr. McHenry and shouted, “No, it would not be.”
    

“So, the chair is saying I may not offer an amendment exempting American Samoa?” Mr. McHenry pressed.
 

“The gentleman is making a speech and will sustain,” Mr. Frank shouted as he slammed his large wooden gavel against the rostrum.
 

The bottom line is that the libs are protecting this industry…God…they’re acting like Republicans!

update-3.jpgI decided to dig a bit deeper. It turns out that Star Kist Samoa, inc. does not allow its employees to unionize. This is from the American Samoa Bar Association web site which lists lawsuits brought against Star Kist Samoa:

Employee handbook that strongly advised employees not to join a labor union, described a system of “progressive discipline” prior to termination, and required the employee to sign a statement that he has read the manual and understands its provisions, gave rise to contractual rights and obligations with regard to discipline and termination of employment. Palelei v. Star Kist Samoa, Inc., 5 A.S.R.2d 162.

They not only advise not to unionize, they TERMINATE employees for Union activity:

Termination of employment due to union activity is perhaps the most obvious example of conduct which is federally preempted by the National Labor Relations Act and over which territorial court has no jurisdiction. Su`a v. Star-Kist Samoa, Inc., 7 A.S.R.2d 58.

But wait, Starkist Samoa must at least pay their employees a fair wage right? Think again:

Territorial minimum wage statute, including provision for punitive damages for wilful failure to pay territorial minimum wage, does not apply to employees covered by provisions of federal minimum wage law. A.S.C.A. §§ 32.0320, 32.0340. Moea`i v. Reid, 9 A.S.R.2d 48.

Punitive damages provision of territorial minimum wage statute, for wilful failure to pay the minimum wage, is limited to a claim based on the difference between the employee’s hourly wage and the minimum wage; this provision does not apply to an action for breach of contract where, although the employee has not been paid, his contractual wage was higher than the statutory minimum. A.S.C.A. §§ 32.0320, 32.0340. Moea`i v. Reid, 9 A.S.R.2d 48.

That’s 5,000 employees of Star Kist who have been absolutely hosed by the hypocrite Pelosi.

update-3.jpg Newsbusters is all over it.

update-3.jpg Video of Congessman Patrick McHenry on the floor asking Barney Frank about adding an exemption for American Samoa in Stem Cell Research:

update-3.jpg Democrats are now promising to change the minimum wage bill. This from The San Diego Union-Tribune:

Fending off charges of favoritism, House Democrats say a just-passed minimum-wage bill will be changed to cover all U.S. territories – including American Samoa – before it reaches President Bush’s desk.

The story continues:

Spokesmen for Pelosi and Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, the author of the minimum-wage bill, said it excluded American Samoa at the request of nonvoting Delegate Eni Faleomavaega, a Democrat who represents the Pacific island territories in the House. Raising the federal minimum wage would devastate the local tuna industry, Faleomavaega said in a statement last week, adding that American Samoa’s economy is “more than 80 percent” dependent on Chicken of the Sea and StarKist. 

If this incident has done nothing else, it has proven that Democrats are willing to sacrifice jobs and businesses at the alter of political points. Also, their bending to the protest of Delegate Eni Faleomavaega of Samoa proves that Democrats understand the effect that a minimum wage hike has on jobs…they just dont give a damn.

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13 Responses to “Pelosi’s Tuna Hypocrisy”

  1. Keith Says:

    Here’s something that affects millions of hard-working Americans for the better and all you can say is, “Hey look over there at Samoa”. Is this a diversion tactic from a Congress that is actually doing something?

  2. rizzuto Says:

    Actually, its just another example of hypocrisy. The dems are protecting this industry which employs a ton of people on the island at the expense of the workers.

    What about the other businesses? The SMALL businesses around the country that are going to have to lay off employees and cut hours? What makes Starkist special other than the fact that it’s home is located in Pelosi’s district or that it’s parent company fills the coffers of John Kerry?

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