CNMI Labor News

August 9, 2008

Kaipat lauds PL 15-108 (again)

CNMI Department of Labor Deputy Secretary Cinta Kaipat continues her mission of promoting the faulty local labor law, PL 15-108 now comparing it to a new law in Maryland that in now way reflects the CNMI law.  Apples and oranges, but never mind -  the DOL official continues trying to defend the much-criticized law as reported in the Marianas Variety.

Sablan and Salas Probe DOL
Representatives Edward Salas and Tina Sablan, members of the House Ad-Hoc Subcommittee on Labor and Immigration Issues want answers from DOL on hard-hitting questions that were ignored by other inquirers. The Marianas Variety reports that the 12 page letter to Labor Secretary San Nicolas also states:
... the CNMI lost about $333,000 in potential federal grants by terminating the local labor department’s memorandum of understanding with the federal labor ombudsman.

Disagreements between these offices was the reason for the termination of the MOU.

The two legislators said this issue deprived the CNMI much needed federal assistance for the department.
Labor website inaccessible to workers with no computers
The DOL reports that improvements have been made to their website, yet workers reported to me that they have no computers to access the site. The Marianas Variety reports:
Division Director Alfred Pangelinan said an employer is only given 14 days after the publication of job vacancy to either hire or reject the applicants.

Since was made available to job vacancy announcements and employment applications, Pangelnan said the division has improved the Web site to allow employers to reply to the applicants immediately.

“An automated e-mail will be sent over to the employer who will see the names of are applicants,” Pangelinan said.

Applicants should regularly check their e-mails, he added.
While residents are given first priority for jobs, non-resident workers are given second priority to be considered for vacancies, but workers report they do not have computers and they do not have email addresses. Workers complained to me that they applied for vacancies, but the employers were allowed to hire new workers from off-island.

Indigenous group wants vote on PL 16-86
Oscar C. Rasa, leader of one of the CNMI nativist groups, the CNMI Descents for Self-Government and Indigenous Rights, is requesting that HB 16-86 that calls for status for long-term guest workers be brought to a vote on the House floor. The group is opposed to the bill that was introduced  Representatives Tina Sablan, Edward T. Salas, Heinz S. Hofschneider, and Victor B. Hocog. Representative Rosemond Santos recently recommended that the bill be shelved.  The Marianas Variety reports:
Rasa said their group has testified against the bill as it will “essentially marginalize people of NMI descent.”

“Given the circumstances and situation of our political, social, economic and educational problems we feel that the issue should be a federal issue,” he added.

Any attempt to change residency rules will be “counter-productive” to the local people’s interest, Rasa said.

Sablan has said that her bill will “stabilize the CNMI’s workforce and the business community and relieve the bureaucratic burdens that businesses must undergo with the current system of annual permit applications and renewals.”


Anonymous said...

As we have foreseen, Cinta Kaipa would not be "just and fair" in that position. She is so biased that she should not be appointed there. She should be thankful to her Uncle Ben (as he claimed, remember he got mad to Jim Benedetto because he argued with his niece).