‘Unified resolution’ on CW issue in the works

Chamber, HANMI, SHRM drafting document
Velma Palacios

Velma Palacios

The Saipan Chamber of Commerce board has met with the leaderships of the Society of Human Resource Management and Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands on the issue of the current contract worker crisis and is working to draft “a united resolution” on the issue, said Chamber president Velma Palacios.

“While we collaborate to outline the specifics of this document, we wish to state that the Chamber supports a process that will review CW-1 applications so that they are fair and equitable and so that they enhance the economic benefit of the CNMI,” Palacios wrote in the Chamber’s June newsletter. She added that the Chamber supports the law that requires the transitioning of currently qualified CW permit holders to other visa categories, and supports the hiring of U.S. citizens.

The Chamber, SHRM, and HANMI are set to meet with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) today on the issue.

At the same time, the Chamber announces they are holding a Labor Visa Symposium on June 7, intended to highlight experts in the field and their efforts to help businesses explore the options available for their workforce.

“We encourage our members to make new applications for visas other than the CW-1 program,” Palacios said.

Before the business crowd at their general membership meeting, Palacios assured they are working on the issue and continue to seek information.

“…We know that with all this development we still lack the required capacity, the required resources for our economy, and if we lose all our workers, it will be devastating to our economy,” she said.

Palacios, in the newsletter, said that the cap on the processing of CW-1 applications and the 10-day period to depart the CNMI are factors that greatly impact the ability to do business in the CNMI.

An immediate solution to these employment issues is essential to prevent the shutdown of business, she said.

The Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 was passed when the CNMI economy was still downswing, Palacios added, noting that new developments in process are substantial in size and will require a considerable number of new employees.

The demand for workers is no longer declining, but is growing at a rapid pace, and even with efforts to hire U.S. citizen workers, the increases in development will increase the need for foreign workers, she said.

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Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at dennis_chan@saipantribune.com.

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  • MisterPerplexed

    DON’T YOU MEAN THAT THESE LACKEYS OF THE CHINESE, SHALL CREATE A UNIFIED LIE! IT’S A EASY FIX, HIRE, IMPORT AMERICANS , AS YOU ARE SO DESPERATELY ATTEMPTING TO IMPORT CHINESE AND EVER MORE FILIPINO SLAVES!

    • kukulkan

      No real local would say import Americans… what’s your aim here, are you just confused? Maybe get out of your bubble and go check what’s outside, there’s a real world out here…

  • Taotao CNMI

    What is newsworthy on this piece of “news? It is this Chamber of Commerce that has been instrumental AGAINST the HIRING of USA workforce to begin with. Now, they are blaming their own failures on others with full intention of complying with the 2019 mandate.

  • Tradesman

    You wanted it. So have you posted you stuff for sale? You sold your land, now live in the mainland as displaced people.

  • Don Farrell

    Perhaps our elected Attorney General Ed Manibusan could file a Temporary Restraining Order against the federal government to prevent any further actions on the CW program. Stop things in place. After all, the President of the United States has agreed to discuss the issue with the CNMI. Shouldn’t everything relative to immigration int he CNMI be put on hold?

    And, perhaps, Delegate Kilili could ask a friend in Congress to introduce legislation to repeal the amendment that was tacked onto the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 that created this mess.

    The Government Accounting Office has studied the impact of the imposition of the federal takeover, and found it lacking, in the least, slashing one-third of the islands’ gross annual revenues.

    Now it is tearing long-time families from our community, families with children that have attended our schools since kindergarten, now representing the CNMI in national academic competitions and are US. citizens; families that have paid taxes dutifully and dutifully obeyed CNMI and federal law, families that attend our churches and contribute positively to the multi-ethnic nature of our community, not different from the multi-ethnic community called America.

    Now these good people, and their US citizen children, are being chased out because new businesses have eaten up the artificially imposed CW allotment.

    That ain’t right, in any language.

    As a native American, and a veteran, I am ashamed at the way the US government has handled this issue. It is wrong.

  • kukulkan

    The issue wasn’t that… the issue was that American’s do not respect locals, despise locals and look down on locals. That’s why “Mainland” American’s do not train and/or teach locals… they won’t teach you to fish, they will only teach you how to eat the fish so u’ll come back for more and depend on them. There is a reason for that and don’t think it’s the first time American’s do this, look at the history… This is not a secret anymore, so where you’re from is still a question…

    • MisterPerplexed

      OH, SO THESE CHINESE INVESTORS THAT OWN EVERY GROCERY STORE IS TEACHING THE PEOPLE HOW TO FISH, OR ARE THEY TEACHING THEM TO GO INTO PENERY? HAVE A LOOK BEHIND THOSE COUNTERS, THEY/ THE CHINESE KEEP DEBTORS BOOKS.. BTW: LET’S NOT FORGET ABOUT THE FAMOUS AMERICan democracy.. what does the chinese have to offer in that dept , or the phillipines for that matter.. deal with trash, turn into trash.

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