VIDEO: CNMI Braces for New Minimum Wage Hike

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Saipan – The CNMI minimum wage will increase by another 50 cents on Sept. 30, bringing it to $5.55 an hour.

It will mark the first time in two years that the Commonwealth’s minimum wage will increase.

The Saipan Tribune reports that a 2010 law signed by U.S. President Barack Obama delayed the scheduled 50-cent increase for 2011.

That delay was a result of Delegate Gregorio Kilili Sablan’s request, with the support of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce and the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands, two of the largest business groups in the CNMI.

The 50-cent increase resumes at the end of September this year, and every year thereafter until it reaches the federal wage floor of $7.25 an hour. The yearly wage increase law was signed in 2007.

Sablan said he will not propose another postponement of the 50-cent increase for 2012, as workers are counting on that 50-cent increase on Sept. 30 and they already had to skip 2011.