Politics as Usual, CNMI Style

April 22, 2010

Pamela L. Borja, a jobless foreign contract worker with an outstanding judgment of $5,145 owed in back wages by her former employer has sued the CNMI Department of Labor for revoking her umbrella permit. From the Saipan Tribune:
The house worker asserted that Labor's revocation of her permit exceeds its constitutional and statutory authority. She said Labor's action is “arbitrary and capricious, and in violation of the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution and the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”

According to Borja's petition, Labor served her on May 11, 2009, with a copy of an order dismissing her complaint against her former employer. She appealed with Labor.

On Nov. 27, 2009, Borja said, Labor issued an umbrella permit extending her status and authorizing her to work in the CNMI until Nov. 27, 2011.

The house worker said that on Jan. 15, 2010, she reported to Labor Tinian per Labor's instruction to retrieve an umbrella permit with her photo.

Instead of issuing a replacement umbrella permit with her photo, Borja said Labor confiscated her original umbrella permit as well as her only copy of it.

In an administrative order dated March 8, 2010, Hirshbein noted that Borja failed to appear at the hearing on Feb. 18, 2010, despite being served with a notice.

Hirshbein said the respondent also failed to register for transfer prior to Jan. 15, 2010, the report back date of her umbrella permit.
Since the CNMI Department of Labor no longer has any legal authority over the foreign workforce they cannot revoke her permit.

The Federal Ombudsman Office is assisting Ms. Borja with her complaint. Previously, the Ombudsman's Office and USCIS advised foreign workers that umbrella permits were valid until November 2011, regardless of what the CNMI DOL claimed. Pamela Brown, the ombudsman also told workers not to report to DOL but to report to her office if they have questions or problems.
More Unpaid Judgments
Six foreign workers sued S & D Corporation owner of Monte Carlo, Harvest Mart, and Everbright Mart to collect $134,096 in unpaid wages and unlawful deductions that the Department of Labor awarded them.

The CNMI DOL issued an administrative order in May 2009 against S & D finding the company liable for the entire amount of the judgment. The company failed to pay it.
From the Saipan Tribune:
The lawyer said S&D filed a notice of appeal with the Labor Secretary on May 19, 2009. Hill said S&D did not serve plaintiffs or their counsel with a copy of the appeal.

Hill said the Labor Secretary did nothing within the 30-day time frame to confirm or modify the decision of Labor administrative hearing officer Deanne C. Siemer.
Why does DOL continue to issue judgments that they do not enforce?

More to Exit the OAG?
The Marianas Variety reports that another prosecutor is leaving the Office of the Attorney General and yet another is considering leaving.

The article said that “political favors” are already taking their toll on the remaining prosecutors." There are five prosecutors including chief prosecutor Rosemond Santos and eleven assistant attorney generals in the civil division. Nine assistant attorneys left the OAG since Edward Buckingham became Attorney General.


TAGLISH said...

Hi Wendy,

Again, what's new about this? NOTHING!!!

No change is going to happen, not unless people here will change. I really hate to see that PEOPLE HERE ARE SO DAMN SILENT, they don't have any reactions to their governor's abuse of power, not even expression of concerns. Well, I should say, somehow there is few anonymous postings to some websites, but does it make any difference? Was this anonymous postings somehow brought to the attention of this governor?

This is why I admired Benigno Aquino, Sr. so much!! He fought against the tyrants, he gave his life to common people! He made me so proud to be Filipino! I wish that someone here would stand up too and wake up these people from their long sleep!