Mixed views on minimum wage bill

GDOL Director David Dell'Isola says that the weekly unemployment benefit will be $945 and that the agency is waiting for guidance from the federal government before they can proceed with the program.

A public hearing was held today for a bill that would raise the minimum wage, but there were mixed testimonies from the community.

Guam Department of Labor Director David Dell’Isola is in support of raising the minimum wage. He is also the wage and hour commissioner, which means he is the person who enforces the minimum wage.

“I’ve looked at this and I agree that if you are going to increase it that I support the step, the 50 cents stepping and spread out so that the impact would have the chance to take into effect and not be felt all in one swoop,” Dell’Isola said.

As for the Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association, 63 percent of its members still oppose the minimum wage increase. According to GHRA’s testimony, the minimum wage is intended for entry-level positions and wage increases should be based on performance, experience, skills, and other factors that are determined by an employer.

GHRA has requested for consideration to be made for the following for responsibly raising the minimum wage: Reinstate and implement a tip credit system and establish a youth wage. GHRA is also reminding lawmakers that an independent economic study has to be done.

“We made it very clear and we worked with the senators to look at the importance of conducting an independent economic study before another wage increase would take place. This legislative body has not asked for that or worked with GovGuam to get a survey done so you can truly understand the impacts of another wage increase,” GHRA President Mary Rhodes said.

As we reported earlier in the week, the Guam Chamber of Commerce also wants the legislature to reconsider increasing the BPT. The Chamber also supports establishing a youth wage and a tip credit system.