GVB opposes bill to raise minimum wage - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GVB opposes bill to raise minimum wage

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - It's less than 24 hours until the second set of hearings takes place for Bill 316, and the agency in charge of arguably the largest industry on Guam has come out against Bill 316.

Guam Visitors Bureau general manager Karl Pangelinan told KUAM News, "I think I speak on behalf of the industry that I think we would like to see wages increased for everyone across the board but I mean let the economics dictate that let's not mandate and let's not legislate that. Additionally we wanted to sort of take a wait and see approach and we don't understand the mad rush to legislate this issue is if it's going to be this impactful and the numbers show that it's going to be impactful to our economy, if it's going to be impact this much why rush it."

In the past week, the GVB board surveyed its membership on their thoughts of the minimum wage proposal and how it would impact their businesses. Pangelinan says a third of GVB's membership responded with 80% of them opposing Bill 316. "We asked the question if this wage hike were to take place today, how many people would you have to let go if you had to let people go and of 95 respondents that represented close to 4,000 employees, about 17% of them or 674 employees would be let go should this minimum wage hike take effect," he said.

He predicts the numbers of jobs loss based on the ratio to the entire industry could be even higher close to 3,600. Pangelinan adds 68% of respondents say they would decrease hours, 77% would eliminate all wage increases across the board for all employees, 78% would increase prices and two-thirds would reduce benefits such as healthcare. GVB suggests lawmakers do a proper economic impact study to gauge the total impact.

The public hearing is set for tomorrow at 2pm and 5:30pm.
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