Word of gratitude to Mr. Tavares

Posted on Jan 14 2000

This is to support the letter Mr. Tavares wrote regarding the garment factories here in the CNMI. I’m glad you returned to Saipan and observed first hand the operations of the factories, the benefits the employees reap and the misguided treatment the media has portrayed of contract workers.

I hope upon your return to America that you visit garment factories so you can compare and share with the people of the CNMI your views and opinions of their operations, their hiring procedures, benefits of their employees, payment procedures, etc.

Most garment factories in the states would not survive if not of the migrant workers. The minimum wage is now $5.25 and workers have to provide their own transportation, housing, food, medical insurance, etc. Unlike contract workers here in the CNMI the minimum wage is $3.05, paid airline ticket back to their country, free
housing in dormitories, free food, transportation, medical insurance, etc.

I have worked for garment factories in the states for over 15 years and have witnessed harsher treatment to employees who do not have the right “white skin”, the misinterpretation of the salary wage, abuse of the production pay scale and the practice of hiring illegal aliens, not to mention the conditions and location of some factories.

I get the opportunity to see the operation of one garment factory while seeking for a job. I was at awed by the way the employees work and their surroundings. There was no indication of abuses or tiredness among them.

I wish the demonstrators visit their garment factories (SWEATSHOP) before they start picketing and chaining themselves to protest the baseless, no basis in fact accusations of the garment factories in the CNMI. After you do that, please come to Saipan and visit our “SWEATSHOP” GARMENT FACTORIES.

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