It is unfortunate that the Asian Crisis has adversely affected the volume of business here especially tourist related ventures. More than 2,000 have closed shop and gone home, the balance of whom have substantially reduced their daily operations in hopes of muddling through the crisis.
The initial decision to close down subsequently translated into the release of both local and non-resident employees. Some are fortunate to have been accepted for employment elsewhere while non-resident employees must leave when they can’t find employment in the local job market. Some have filed complaints with the Department of Labor and Immigration (locals and non-resident employees alike) in hopes of retaining their jobs.
But no matter how many complaints are filed, if businesses close down because of severe economic conditions, meaning they can’t turn in a profit, these complaint are at best, futile.
The next level pertains with downsizing of business operations which also includes a reduction in the number of employees. Such decision also affects both locals and alien workers. At this level, continued employment with struggling companies boil down to efficiency and productivity. Thus, clinging to gainful employment of financially troubled companies become awfully competitive anywhere in the local job market.
The Office of Job Training Partnership Act may have legitimate concerns that businesses are not hiring even when it (JTPA) defrays cost of employment 100 percent. It is an indication that the business sector hasn’t engaged in any form of expansion and not for the foreseeable future. Nor is the business sector prepared to raise the hopes of employees paid for in full by JTPA in terms of subsequent full-time employment. In business, when push comes to shove, we engage in the true test and exercise of management with bottom line figures closely watched, monthly. It’s a vicious survival game of the fittest.
Indeed, it also pains us to see job opportunities contracting as a direct result of the confluence of the Asian Crisis and unstabling effects of a federal takeover agenda by our detractors in Washington. The first phenomenon is a natural one to which we had no choice. The second is the creation of a discriminatory and hypocritical economic policy that had NMI US Citizens quizzing if this is really the essence of American Democracy.
Perhaps the saddest experience that we simply refuse to even hear about for a second is the first group of high school graduates (Class of 1999) who would find it next to impossible to land any meaningful employment this summer. It will go into a chapter of future historians or writers as the “Fatal Summer of `99”. We wish we can offer better or greater hope and optimism in what lies ahead, but our best shot is to consistently and persistently push our leaders to engage in a unified effort at wealth and jobs creation. Si Yuus Maase`!