Statement from the Guam Chamber of Commerce on Bill No. 136-35 which seeks to raise the minimum wage

June 28, 2019

HAGÅTÑA, GUAM -The Guam Chamber of Commerce has drafted testimony regarding the minimum wage increase introduced by Senator Joe San Agustin. We have reiterated our previous position that the minimum wage is an entry level wage and that wage increases should be directly related to worker productivity and economic expansion, not through a government mandate. The Chamber has stressed that a balanced approach be applied that won't adversely impact the cost of doing business on Guam and will not severely increase the cost of goods and services.

We have additionally made the following recommendations for responsibly raising the entry level wage:

  • Amend the wage increments to smaller tiers over a longer period of time.To achieve the hourly wage objective of $9.25, we recommend that the first tier be $0.50 ($8.25 to $8.75) to be implemented on April 1, 2020. The second tier be $0.50 ($8.75 to $9.25) and be implemented on April 1, 2021;
  • Establish a Youth/Juvenile Wage of $8.25/hour;
  • Establish a Tip Credit program on Guam set at $8.25/hour;
  • Reduce the Business Privilege Tax back to 4%;
  • Repeal Public Law 1 - 35 which increased property taxes on improvements valued at $1 million or more;
  • Establish specific control on government spending; and,
  • Invest in upskilling local workforce so island residents command higher wages.

A copy of the Chamber's written testimony is provided for your reference by clicking here. A copy of the Bill No. 136-35 is available here.

A public hearing for this bill will take place today, Friday, June 28th. One session will begin at 2:00 p.m. and a second session is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Both sessions will take place at the Guam Congress Building in Hagåtña.