Labor News from Saipan


May 25, 2008

DOL Deputy Secretary Kaipat reports in today's Saipan Tribune that the CNMI has a system to ensure a sufficient number of alien workers for major projects. According to the article:

"Shortly before Bush signed the federalization bill, Labor drafted the emergency regulations that will effectively cap the number of alien workers in the Commonwealth.The goal and objective of the emergency regulations is to “require that the number of alien workers in the Commonwealth on the effective date of these regulations not be exceeded during the period of 12 to 18 months after the effective date of these regulations.”

According to the draft, this would be achieved by implementing a system for monitoring departing alien workers present in the CNMI as well as arriving alien workers on the regulations' effective date, “so that the Commonwealth can ensure that the number of alien workers present in the Commonwealth on the effective date of these regulations not be exceeded.”

An article in Maharlika in the Saipan Tribune outlined how guest workers in the CNMI would be given preference for jobs before new recruits were hired from off-island:

"The new Employment Rules and Regulations state that an employer seeking an exemption from the moratorium for a replacement worker shall first contact Labor's Employment Services so that eligible foreign national workers already in the Commonwealth can be placed.

A foreign national worker who is under a Temporary Work Authorization issued by a Labor hearing officer or an alien worker who transfers to an employer through a Labor administrative order issued by a hearing officer is not a replacement. The Regulations state that the employment of TWA workers and workers holding transfers is not limited by the moratorium."

If this is the case, why are so many foreign contract workers being repatriated or deported when they could surely be hired to fill open positions. I do not understand why new contract workers are continually being brought in when there are sufficient numbers in the CNMI to fill vacant positions. Many workers have temporary permits to look for employers, but report that when they apply for advertised positions they are told that a worker is coming from the Philippines. Why not put a freeze on new workers, and give those who lost their jobs when garment factories or other businesses closed a chance for an open position?
Even more workers will be looking for positions as Saipan garment factory, Kyungseung, shut down Saturday leaving 113 employees jobless according to the Saipan Tribune:

"Cody granted all workers the opportunity to find jobs with new employers. He gave them seven days from Friday to register with the Labor Division of Employment Services.

“Each worker may seek a transfer employer provided that a transfer employer must be located and the name of the employer must be submitted to Employment Services within 30 days after the issuance of this order,” he said.

If any worker fails to find an employer within the 30-day transfer period, that worker shall be required to report to Jeffrey Camacho of the Labor Enforcement Section within five days in order to arrange for his or her repatriation."

There are only six remaining open garment factories on Saipan from a high of 34 during the garment boom on Saipan.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

If this is the case, why are so many foreign contract workers being repatriated or deported when they could surely be hired to fill open positions.


-- no available jobs. no open positions.

Anonymous said...

If there are no available jobs -no open positions, then why are people still being hired from Philippines?

Anonymous said...

Employers usually require experience in the field for which they are being hired.

For instance, very few garment laborers would be qualified to operate construction equipment or work in the building trades.

Workers are not fungible. Each has his or her unique talents, interests, and abilities.

Wendy said...

Yes that is true, but the guest workers who applied for advertised positions and were told that the employers were hiring someone from the Philippines met the requirements and had the experience and skills required and advertised.