I write in response to a Thursday, July 20, 2017, Marianas Variety article written by John O’ Conner, in which Bank of Guam economist Joseph Bradley is quoted making an assertion that Guam’s lingering issue with H2-B denials is somehow slowing construction work and raising costs because of the CNMI’s ongoing labor issues.
Mr. Bradley failed to acknowledge that Guam’s rate of H2-B denials and significant loss in general of H2-B workers occurred well before issues related to the CNMI’s foreign national worker labor force came to be a factor earlier this spring.
The CNMI is dealing with its labor issues related to bad actors using foreign national tourists and the lack of sufficient U.S. citizen and CW workforce. It is disconcerting and close to unprofessional for Mr. Bradley to draw a correlation regarding how the federal government will handle future H2-B renewals for Guam because of issues solely related to the CNMI because it is based merely on innuendos without being substantiated by data or hard facts. Honestly, I enjoyed a period in the Mariana Islands when economists never imposed their personal opinions but advised their clients based on hard data and plain ol’ facts.
The proverbial broad brush as Mr. Bradley irrelevantly expounds is also of general concern to the business community in the CNMI, about how the federal government will now apply similar applications for H2-B’s in the entire Marianas archipelago.
The Northern Marianas Business Alliance Corp., of which I serve as its president, extends our sincere concern for the Guam community. The NMBAC hopes that you can resolve your H2-B worker issues soon so your economy can continue to flourish and your citizens realize their full potential.
Please also extend your Northern Marianas brothers and sisters the same courtesy by wishing us well. Now is not the time for finger pointing. Our islands have similar issues, none of which are related but are caused by the same problem. Let’s respect each other and collaborate when we can to protect our precious islands and improve our ever growing economy for our future generations.
Alexander A. Sablan
President, Northern Mariana Business Alliance