Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

January-03-07

House Democrats Poised to Introduce Mariana Islands Wage Hike Bill

House Democrats, led by Education and Workforce Committee Chairman George Miller (CA), intend to introduce legislation early in the new Congress that would raise the minimum wage for workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. A US territory in the Pacific Ocean, the Northern Mariana Islands are currently exempt from US minimum wage requirements and most provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The economy on the islands is heavily dependent on garment factories that employ mostly migrant laborers for wages far under the US minimum wage, yet the clothing they produce is still allowed to carry a "Made in the US" label, The Hill reports.

Currently, employers must pay workers on the islands only $3.05 an hour, a wage that has not been raised in over a decade and can now afford just one gallon of gasoline, Saipan Tribune reports. The new legislation would require employers on the Northern Mariana Islands to pay the same amount as employers in the United States, which is currently $5.15 and which Democrats propose to raise to $7.25. Speaker-Elect Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) co-authored the "US-Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Human Dignity Act" with Rep. Miller in June 2006, which would have benefited Marianas workers, but stalled in committee. Drew Hammill, a spokesperson for Speaker-Elect Pelosi, said, "the bottom line here is anyone who works under the American flag deserves to be paid a fair wage," The Hill reports.

Disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff was employed by the government of the Northern Mariana Islands to work with Republican leaders to block legislation that would have increased the minimum wage. According to The Hill, the Northern Mariana Islands government and those with business interests there feared that a higher minimum wage would drive out factories that were attracted to the islands by cheap labor costs. With a new Democratic majority, however, Representative Miller and others hope to pass legislation that will benefit the islands' predominately female workforce.

LEARN MORE Read "Paradise Lost," an exclusive Ms. investigative report on the conditions of and politics around sweatshops in the Northern Mariana Islands

JOIN
Join the Ms. community and receive the premier feminist publication delivered to your door

funny picture quotes funny pictures funny images funny photos

Media Resources: H.R. 5550; The Hill 1/3/07; Saipan Tribune 12/22/06


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

12/19/2014 Woman on Life Support Revives Ireland Abortion Debate - Debate surrounding Ireland's ban on abortion has come up again following a current case involving a woman who is being kept on life support because she is pregnant. The woman's family wants her to be taken off life support, but doctors refuse because Irish law says they must do what they can to protect the 16-week-old fetus. . . .
 
12/19/2014 DC City Council Unanimously Approves Reproductive Health Anti Discrimination Bill - Wednesday, the Washington, DC City Council unanimously passed a bill that will prohibit employer interference in the reproductive health decisions of their employees. The Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014 was first introduced by DC Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large), just ahead of the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of for-profit retail chain Hobby Lobby this summer. . . .
 
12/19/2014 Incremental Gains for Women in Congress - When the 114th Congress is sworn into office on January 3rd, 2015, there will be exactly the same number of women in Senate as the year before, 20, and a record-high number of women in the US House, 84. . . .