NMI residents stage protest against illegal workers

A GROUP called CNMI Horizon, which is composed of Chamorro and Carolinian families, gathered at the Oleai Beach Road intersection from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday, to protest the hiring of illegal construction workers.

The 20 members of the group, including children, held signs that said: “Illegal Business Practice is Rampant in the Chinese Business Community” and “Please Help Stop Illegal Hiring.”

The group’s leader, Fel Kalen, said “illegal Chinese workers are everywhere and rampant in construction projects.”

He said “lots of Chinese working in various companies and businesses do not have legal documents or CW permits.”

He added, “This must stop — this illegal practice of hiring people. The companies must start hiring local people. We deserve to be hired. There’s plenty of us who are jobless or don’t have jobs and they are prioritizing Chinese workers….  A lot of contractors especially Chinese companies hire Chinese so we urge them to hire locals.”

Kalen said he has been “to a lot of construction sites with Chinese workers who don’t have CW permits. Why hire them when there are locals who are unemployed?”

Kalen said unemployed locals may not be skilled or qualified, “but they know how to use shovels.”

“So give us the chance too and give us the jobs we need,” Kalen added.

He said his group has been in existence for six months now. “I already met with the governor and discussed our advocacy. He said they are doing something about it and we are also doing something about it by trying to send a strong message to our businesses, especially construction businesses, where illegal hiring is rampant.”

Source: Marianas Variety :

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