August 28, 2013

The U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Interior posed 13 questions to Governor Inos as a precursor to making a decision on whether or not to extend the flawed CNMI-only guest worker program for another agonizing five years.

Predictably, the governor consulted the Saipan Chamber of Commerce for input to the questions. The chamber, in turn, "solicited responses also from the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands and CNMI Chapter of the Society for Human Resources Management", according to the Saipan Tribune.

Always the politicians and government officials consult the business owners -the ones who have made their riches off the backs of the disenfranchised, impoverished underclass; the ones that most benefit from extending the broken program.

Why is it that no one considers consulting those who truly have the biggest stake in the game –the voiceless nonresident workers who are the backbone of the CNMI economy? The nonresident workers who deserve freedom and a pathway to citizenship, not five more years of oppression, suffering and disenfranchisement.

The questions:

  • Given the recent changes in the CNMI economy, i.e., the changes in the composition of tourism and the end of the garment industry, what strategies are being developed by the CNMI government to adapt to these changes which will make the CNMI a more vibrant economy?  
  • What efforts by the CNMI government have been undertaken to adequately train or educate CNMI citizens to assume jobs held by alien workers? Who will carry out training and educational programs? What is the result of these efforts? Have they been successful? Will they be continued?  
  • At what rate will the CNMI’s workforce grow over the next five years? What percentage of the anticipated CNMI workforce growth over the next five years will be met by foreign workers, if they are available?  
  • Do CNMI’s businesses have any difficulty finding qualified applicants who are U.S. citizens and legal residents for any of the jobs they are trying to fill?  
  • What efforts have the CNMI’s businesses made to recruit U.S. citizens and legal residents for the jobs in their businesses? What do employers say are the impediments they face in finding U.S. citizens or legal residents for these jobs in the CNMI?  
  • Given the CNMI unemployment rate, what makes these jobs unattractive to U.S. citizens or legal residents?  
  • What types of research has been carried out by the CNMI government or other organizations to understand the economic implications of the possible elimination of the CNMI-Only Transitional Guest Worker (CW) program on the economy of the CNMI?  
  • What are the reasons for the low workforce participation rates by U.S. citizens in the CNMI?  
  • For which occupations or educational skills do the CNMI’s businesses have current needs?  
  • The implementation of the minimum wage laws in the CNMI resulted in higher wages. Have these higher wages created less demand for labor given the limited resources available?  
  • Do foreign workers in the CNMI pay income tax?  
  • Is the unemployment rate in the CNMI based on both resident and foreign workers?  
  • If the transition period ends, do employers think they will use existing worker visa programs (e.g., H2B, H2A etc.) more? If not, why not?  

The questions not asked, that should be asked:
  • How can you justify the continued oppression and disenfranchisement of legal, nonresidents who have lived and worked in the CNMI for 5, 10, 20, 30 or more years on U.S. soil? 
  • How can you justify the undemocratic and un-American treatment of the CNMI's legal nonresidents held as a permanent underclass?
  • How many more years do you intend to fight against a pathway to citizenship for the nonresidents who poured their sweat and tears into building your community?
  • How can you justify reaping taxes from people who do not reap the benefits of their contributions and are denied basic political, economic and civil rights?
  • Why did you allow millions of dollars in wages to be stolen from the nonresidents workers even as you allowed their thief-employers to walk with impunity? What do you intend to do to make these people whole?
  • Do you acknowledge that your insistence in delaying federal wage increases in order to appease and please the business owners is also a major reason that many U.S. citizens refuse to accept jobs in the private sector?
  • How have the policies instituted by the CNMI lawmakers perpetuated the high level of poverty in the CNMI?
  • How have decades of greed and corruption not only hurt tens of thousands of innocent foreigners that you treat as replaceable commodities, but your own people, as well?
  • At what rate will the legal nonresident workers leave the CNMI because of continued uncertainty and little hope of ever seeing a change in their status?
  • Isn't it true that if  the legal nonresidents were to be given permanent residency then there would be no need to extend the CNMI-Only Guest Worker Program?


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, Ma'm Wendy. They can't answer these questions. Only people with hearts could and they don't have any.

Anonymous said...

Simple, local or US residents are not interested in private sectors jobs due to $5.55 per hour wage. Now, there's a bill where postponement of the $0.50 per hour increase is included was approved by the U.S. senate and now pending action at the U.S. House. These same lawmakers who approved this Bill in the Senate are advocating EQUALITY among people BUT NOT THE CNMI disenfranchised nonimmigrant workers.There is always 2 sides on a coin...TOSS IT NOW!

Anonymous said...

Heartless CNMI lawmakers and governor when they still consider to replace all CW permit holders by U.S citizens and pushing to extend flawed CW programs. CW permit holders are also people from other countries contributing their sweats and tears every day in tourism industry to make CNMI a world class tourism destination. They are not only paying local income taxes but also subject to pay U.S social security taxes. What do they get after working in CNMI for more than a decade? Governor Inos plans to replace most of them by opening an abandoned room of the government buildings in Capital hill to train local people to take away jobs held by CW permit holders in private sectors and encouraging CNMI HANMI & SHRM professionals to follow the directions. CNMI governor is teaming up with HANMI & SHRM to trim CW permit holders from private sectors. This act is against racism, national of origin (CW permit holders) and discrimination of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. What U.S EEOC, U.S DOL, U.S DOI and U.S DHS are doing to protect the rights of people who are voiceless in CNMI? Are they waiting to receive the answers of 13 questions from CNMI governor? To all CNMI lawmakers and governors, “Stop hating people, start loving them to have a beautiful & developing CNMI”.

captain said...

9:51 While I recognize the plight and the circumstances of the CW, and also recognize the irrational and impossible proposal from this left over Fitialite Gov. to all of a sudden be able to train any person to become a skilled worker in a few months to be able to gain the knowledge and practical advanced training to replace any "skilled" worker, be it a CW or any US Cit.
It remains that under the Feds each year the numbers of CW were supposed to be decreased up to 2014 when they are all supposed to be eliminated, totally.

The NMI should look at it's past original requirements again concerning the CW to be able to originally get a job in the NMI.

One of the prerequisites was to have the education and two years practical experience for the specific job to be able to get a CW employment contract.
This included house workers in regards to experience.

Now this Govt. think that they can train people in a few months to obtain the skills required to replace many of these workers?
They had many years to attempt to do so already.

The first obstacle is to be able to get people to this "class" and be able to undergo training for minimum wages.

Another interesting question is just who is going to train these people?
Just what qualifications do these proposed "teachers" have in the many individual field of various skills training and experience?

There is a difference in being book smart and having practical experience.

The other thing is that just how many US workers are willing to work for $5.50 hr?
Especially in the construction trades?
But at least if they are willing to work at that wage they will, on most part, still be able to collect food stamps.
This must be instilled upon these proposed workers so that maybe many that actually want to work, but won't will go to work without jeopardizing their food stamps.

This is typical 11th "hour rhetoric" from a long failing clueless ignorant electorate.

BTW for many the first step will be to teach them reading and also simple math as without the two there can be no knowledge gained nor any type of advancement.
In the majority of jobs, advanced math is needed in Technical jobs.

In the Tourism industry communications skills are also needed.

Anonymous said...

its an political vote bank game by governor.he is going to run again and he will use vote bank game with locals to reelect again on voiceless cnmi alien workers.locals got poor mentality about alien workers to take over them but its not true they are only 15000 some even if they get get greencard most of them will fly so how can be take over them island? cnmi politicians and people need to grow up on this poor mentality.each workers they loosing means they loosing good workers who really worked hard for them and they will not replaced by local workforce properly.most of them lazy/breaking the rules of employer.same game like fecto past governor.grow up gov. plssss amen..