When you get stuck along Beach Road, better take the Middle Road. This is a website for those who choose to tread Saipan's off the beaten path. * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * +

Apr 5, 2008

Where have all the workers gone?

Only 100-200 workers and other members of the community showed up Saturday at the prayer vigil in support of the US Senate-sponsored federalization bill and Rep. Tina Sablan’s draft bill granting long-term residency to foreign workers.

What a disappointment not only to the Human Dignity Movement, but also to the workers and supporters.

The organizers and speakers at the event – including Atty. Mark Hanson, Rep. Tina Sablan and representatives of the Filipino, Chinese, Bangladeshi communities – noted the result of disunity only four months since a historic crowd of 5,000-10,000 who marched for a better immigration status for long-term legal guest workers.

By now, Deanne Siemer and company, plus Dekada and their lawyer, may have been celebrating the fact that fewer showed up at the prayer vigil than the exploratory discussion on long-term residency held Wednesday night.

Suspicions, doubts and hatred directly and indirectly resulted in disunity among the workers who once stood “united” in their call for an improved immigration status.

Workers were urged to be cautious in choosing the direction to take – support the US Senate federalization bill which is expected to pass soon, support Tina Sablan’s draft bill for longer-term residency status, or support the exploratory discussions on the CNMI government granting of long-term residency status to long-time foreign workers.

Towards the end of the prayer vigil, organizers asked those in attendance to sign a petition calling for permanent immigration status in the CNMI.

The petition was addressed to the US Congress, the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and Nikolao Pula of the Interior.

Whatever happened to the Unity March?


Anonymous said...

Maybe the character of the organizers counts. Maybe not credible enough. Maybe they shot they own comrades. Maybe poor planning. Or maybe one Gerry Custodio and one Ron Hodges are not effective to get a big crowd. WHAT A BIG LESSON. I hope they learned they lesson.

Anonymous said...

Despite assurances that were given to the contrary, it seems that the group that is talking to Siemer et al has withdrawn its support for the effort to push federalization in Congress. It looks like the Fitial Administration's efforts through Siemer have achieved one of their objectives. They now can claim (disingenuously) to Congress that more people support them than support federalization.

Anonymous said...

More likely, they (the workers) know what the Fitial Administration and everyone else now knows: the Federalization bill is going to pass, soon, no matter what anyone on these islands does or says.

Anonymous said...

Gerry C. and Ron H. . ruined the Unity March Spirits?..what a big mistake....Gerry you never listen ..

Anonymous said...

I've seen a lot of personal acrimony on this blog between people who support the same general objectives. The turnout at this rally is evidence that this acrimony is hurting the cause, because those who would seek to continue to keep the guest workers down will try to use it as a propaganda victory. If people have a strong but passionate disagreement over which path to take, that is not sufficient justification to allow this to get acrimonious and undermine the effort to protect guest workers. Regardless of who started it, everyone should rise above it immediately for the sake of the guest workers. By the way, the different paths are not either/or propositions. I do not believe that Siemer is acting independently or that she is sincere, but there is nothing wrong with putting that to the test. "Trust, but verify."

Anonymous said...

Even though I believe that Siemer's process is worth exploring (although I also believe that it will not go anywhere), I also believe that it is wrong for the guest worker leaders who are participating in that process to get angry and personally offended at those who are questioning the sincerity of the CNMI administration representatives. If some people want to explore the process and some people don't, that's fine. Neither side need be angry at the other. People need to put the interests of the guest workers above their own egos.

dekada lawyer said...

People who want to post patently stupid comments ought to attach their names to it. I am speaking particularly of the following anonymous post:

Despite assurances that were given to the contrary, it seems that the group that is talking to Siemer et al has withdrawn its support for the effort to push federalization in Congress. It looks like the Fitial Administration's efforts through Siemer have achieved one of their objectives. They now can claim (disingenuously) to Congress that more people support them than support federalization."

Anonymous said...

I say poor planning and preparation really affected the outcome. G.Custodio and R.Hodges are not enough to earn the hearts of the majority of guest workers.

That's why the UNITY MOVEMENT was created. Coordination between influential leaders is a must before doing such activity. Nonetheless, many OCWs are supportive of federalization even if they did not attend the vigil...

Anonymous said...

Its only showed that Ron cannot be an effective leader. Was he over confident or so desperate that he planned this vigil without the other influential leaders? Who is Gerry Custodio anyway? And what is Human Dignity Movement? Ron, Ron, Ron, find some leaders that could support you. They are the ones that have power here not you nor Gerry. Who is he again?

Anonymous said...

"United...we stand. Divided...we fall"

I hope Gerry learned his lesson from the turnout of this activity.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"Divided we stand, at least not all of us will fall".

Anonymous said...

Gerry to big in AMP next time do it in one 13th Fishermen shed.So it will become crowded.You never value the spirits of UNITY MARCH shame on you.WEAK LEADER sounds familiar heheehe......

Anonymous said...

If only Gerry knows how to listen and if Gerry and Ron do not have personal interest, they would have followed our advice. Told you guys, wrong timing, lack of planning and lack of confidence by the guest workers to both of you.
And hey commentators, stop putting blames to others, they were not the organizers.
Better luck next time. But I hope you guys learned your lessons!
ooops, maybe since workers were urged to be cautious in choosing the direction as middle road said, they chose not to follow Ron & Gerry's direction, right? Guest workers might be really that smart now, to know who really support them and not just use them in the front line of their battle. Ai adai!

Anonymous said...

ANON: 13fishermen still a big venue for Ron & Gerry, Bobby Cadillac's might be better.
Feel sorry for Tina. Even her was used by these two persons.
Gerry + Ronnie = another TTT rally
Funny! I thought Ron you hate Greg? Why did you copy him? Hmmmm...?

Marianas Pride said...


Congratulations. Do you know how democracy works? You get a bunch of people together and work out what is best for the people you represent (ooops, wait, that is how it is SUPPOSED to work, but that does not apply in Saipan).

All I can say is that there is nothing wrong with listening to what the other side has to say. You don't have to agree with it, or go along with it, but you should at least hear them out. I have met with people who I strongly disagree with, but I will always allow them to speak their piece. I'm not God, and I don't know everything, so who am I to say that people don't have a right to speak?

Stop the God mentality people and get your shit together. From 5,000 to 200. That is very sad...

Think about why this happened. Think hard, and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Screw your egos and hangups.

lil_hammerhead said...

Remember who/what the real enemy is.

Anonymous said...

The prayer vigil was planned, organized and DECIDED by Gerry Custodio without consulting and coordinating with other leaders. If the purpose of organizing such activity is primarily for fame then it will surely flunk. If only Gerry knows how to listen and be humble then this might not have happened.

That's why the Unity Group was formed, to get a wider perspective and have a stronger influential entity that can organize and make a huge number of the community to UNITE. When I joined the core group, I set aside my name for fame, instead, I focused on how the group can be stronger in attaining a certain goal.

Teamwork... if we work as a team, then a lot of work can be accomplished successfully.

Anonymous said...

You are correct Lil, we should know our enemies. But the problem here was, we were on the same team. And while we were still planning tactics to face the enemies, some of our own allies started firing guns on us.
I do not blame you Lil or anybody for that matter who will make the most insulting words for what really happened. But I am in this group. When some our allies said we are WEAK to face our enemies and they planned to make their own move to measure their group strength, the goal itself became useless.
People can say whatever they want to say and we may remain silent, because nobody, nobody for that matter could see what's inside in anyone's heart. And I firmly believe that what you planted, is what you would harvest.
And any campaign when you used black propaganda will give negative results.

Anonymous said...

it was not only gerry who is hungry for fame but ron himself! now, they can spit on their own soup.

Anonymous said...

Is anybody can post the speech of Cong. Tina Sablan during Gerry's n Ron Rally?

lil_hammerhead said...

Excuse me Malou.. what insulting words have I lodged against anyone involved with forwarding special status for longstay workers?


I've said that I don't think these people can be trusted, and I've said that any process involving them (Siemer, Kara, Goro) is a useless and fruitless process.

That is it. That is my opinion. I do not disparage anyone who cares enough to do what they think they should to improve worker conditions.

lil_hammerhead said...

Ron is not the enemy, Steve is not the enemy, Wendy is not the enemy, I am not the enemy, Gerry is not the enemy, you are not the enemy, Boni is not the enemy, Ed is not the enemy..

...just got lost and lucky.... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I myself a local, is not in support of any organization in particular for I don’t think its fair for the guest worker community as a whole to be divided like it is right now. I am truly saddened to see the division actually happening, but what can we do? People have their opinions and not everyone will agree to what is said or being done. Some people emphasize the need for federalization while others are willing to take the chance with a local long term residency status… I for one don’t really care whether an improved status comes by means of federalization or local initiative. What I care about is actually getting it! Not for me but for my fellow guest worker friends. I will continue my support of both federalization and local long term residency status because I feel that we should not be selfish and ignore any options what so ever!

In December I was proud to see the involvement of thousands of guest workers and supporters rally down beach road as ONE in UNITY, I said to myself that if those people continue their community outreach there is a chance to better their future outcome. Last night I strolled by AM Memorial Park around 7:30pm to see the outcome of the prayer vigil, in true honesty; I was surprised to see the DIVISION of a UNITY take in to effect!!! In December there were more people than benches at memorial park, last night at the prayer vigil there were more benches than people. WHAT HAPPENED? That was truly embarrassing!

I think that it is time we all put our differences aside and REUNITE as a whole for a plain and simple reason, as a whole we can accomplish more goals, and will have a greater chance of succeeding!

Like Marianas Pride said “Stop the God mentality people and get your shit together. From 5,000 to 200. That is very sad...

Think about why this happened. Think hard, and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Screw your egos and hangups.”

...just got lost and lucky.... said...

I speak for myself and I say poor planning and not coordinating with influential leaders resulted to a few drawn crowd. If this was spearheaded by the UNITY group then it would have drawn a huge crowd just like the UNITY march.

That's why the Unity group was formed.... Remember?

Anonymous said...

Lil, it was not meant for you. Those bad words we got. You have to see Tina's speech. Sorry, Lil. I even agreed with what you posted in my post in your blog. Miscommunication due to my bad english!

Anonymous said...

and lil, the insults we will receive through this blog. not particularly from you lil.

Mr. Civility said...

Incitement to societal disruption, sharp personal attacks, bullying, blatant self-aggrandizement, and "spitting in soup" have never been cool in the Northern Mariana Islands.

On the other hand, respect, courtesy, and good manners never go out of style.

Ron Hodges said...

Chamberonomics 47...prayer vigil

Guest workers here have exhibited unimaginable patience. Hopefully, this never ending struggle will soon be over. I believe S.2739, currently before the US Senate, will soon pass unanimously. I also believe the President of the United States will sign this bill into law, and the US will gain control of the NMI labor and immigration system.

I believe this will foster a new era in the commonwealth. I believe this will create a community driven by a free market system. I believe the standards of living, wages, and the quality of life for our long mistreated guest workers and our indigenous populace will begin to improve. I believe the United States is our friend, certainly not our enemy.

All of you here, at American Memorial Park this evening, have a claim to America that no other immigrants before you can boast. All of you here can be proud that you have served your time. You have worked, labored, and toiled to build a part of America. America is a country of immigrants. No immigrants before you were brought to US soil with promises of work in America, and now, in many cases 20 years after your arrival, you still do not have working status in America. You still do not have the freedom to change employers. You still do not have the freedom to travel or move. You still do not have the right to bring your family, including spouses and children to live beside you. You are officially veterans of the Northern Mariana Islands, and whether you are Filipino, Bangladeshi, Chinese, or other, no immigrant group before you can boast what you can.

I can assure you, that every decent mainland American that knows this story is proud of each of you, and of each of your contributions. I assure you, that every decent American aware that you have long been denied unalienable human rights is outraged. I assure you, this case will come out. I assure you, that justice, no matter how slow, will prevail here.

I will never stop highlighting this case until the U.S. grants improved status and green cards for our long abused guest workers. I will never veer from the belief that each of you has already earned the right to an unobstructed path to US citizenship. No immigrants in U.S. history, not my ancestors or anyone else anywhere, can boast the accomplishments you can.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak.

lil_hammerhead said...

Thanks Malou.

Anonymous said...

What about the speech Ms. Tina S.?.......

Anonymous said...

"On the other hand, respect, courtesy, and good manners never go out of style."

Are you talking about Saipan!? You're kidding right?

Weird Elle said...

To anonymous:

Here's Rep. Tina Sablan's speech during the Saturday prayer vigil:

"I am sad tonight, my friends, because just four months after the deeply moving success of the Unity March, we have found ourselves divided once again. I am not talking about divisions between those who support federalization and those who do not. I am talking about divisions among us, among people who want the same thing, and that is improved status for long-term foreign workers.

Not too long ago, after the federal hearing in August, I talked about receiving a call from someone who asked me how I could possibly support “those animals” – meaning many of you and your families. And it hurt many of you, and it hurt me, and it also hurt many other citizens in the community to hear that man’s reaction to my statement at the hearing, just as it had hurt him and many other people in the community to hear my statement. Some people told me that I should not have even talked about it. But I felt that it had to be said. We had to talk about it, because how else can we heal this community if we do not first bring out all the ugliness and the hurt that we are feeling and experiencing into the open?

And so here I have found myself once again staring at something that maybe some people would rather I not talk about. And once again, I have found myself feeling deeply that it needs to be said.

Some of us have been upset and suspicious at the meeting that others of us have been having with Ms. Deanne Siemer and Ms. Maya Kara to discuss the possibility of locally-granted improved status for long-term foreign workers. Some terrible names have been called of each other – including “inhuman,” “idiot,” and “traitor.” These names are just as bad as “animal.” And as a result, people who agree with the intent of tonight’s prayer rally are not here because they have not been invited or because they are hurting.

I understand the distrust that some of us might feel, but I do not understand the impulse to tear each other down simply because we disagree about the motives of other individuals. We cannot blame anyone for feeling an inkling of hope and for wanting to at least hear and explore the proposal that was being offered. We should not attack each other for going a different way, when the end goal, in all our hearts, remains the same, and especially when we are this close to the goal.

While we pray for the swift passage of the federal immigration bill, and for a federal bill that would quickly follow to grant improved status to long-term foreign workers, I would also like to offer a prayer for reconciliation, and to ask each one of us to look into our own hearts and ask ourselves if we have treated others as we would wish to be treated. I offer a prayer for peace, not only for those who oppose federalization and improved status for long-term workers, but also for us, on our own side, that we may understand and respect each other better.

Ron Hodges said...

The prayer vigil was not meant to compete with the march, and was just a prayer vigil, the forth I can recall in the last year. It was not publicized and there was no fundraising or budget. Jerry thought it would be a good idea. The crowd was very small and very nice. Jerry collected 700 signatures and the many speakers were entertaining. I specifically liked the message of Mark Hanson, who opened the speech by saying he "is undecided on federalization"...he went on to say "the problems workers have here will not be fixed by the feds...the federal government does not negotiate wage packages for mainland workers...everyone makes their own deal. If three workers at one of our major hotels have a concerted effort, they get fired. If the entire hotel staff walks out, they get increased pay and additional vacation. If all hotel workers on the island join them, they get a constitutional amendment. The Unity March was originally conceived to thwart a general strike, and I am/was/would be a supporter of a general strike."

I would concur that American workers have fought for their rights and Hanson is a great spokesperson for workers here. I have participated in strikes and they can be quite effective. I do not think workers here have ever been organized well enough to pull off a successful strike, but after federalization, one day, workers here will eventually get tired of saying "yes master" and stand up for themselves and walk.

I was recently in the US for ten days. Many of my family members had questions about the situation in the NMI...and they all had the same point to make. They all asked when were the workers going to do something about it? They were all of the opinion that workers in the US were never given anything by Ford, GM, and GE, they bargained for it, and, the reason an electrician makes 49 dollars per hour there with 4 weeks paid vacation, and full retirement after 30 years service is because of a series a long, hard fought, strikes. my sister asked why we would have a Unity march instead of a strike. She was of the opinion that marches were for politicians and glory seekers and had never heard of a local union participating in anything other than direct action. I told her workers here are the most scared I have ever seen, and their leadership, is unimaginably weak. She pointed at a factory that had executed a 3, 6, 8, and 11 week strikes since I lived in the NMI and figured that was why a general laborer there could make 90k per year with overtime. She was also of the opinion that Americans would have no sympathy for a worker that would not help themselves, or would not fight.

I think think a general strike would be more effective after federalization though, because workers may feel more protected.

I also think a direct action is equally important for locals because as our local people move into the private sector, strikes are life 101 for all groups of workers.

Anonymous said...

Remember.. Custodio is the guy who is "suffering" under 3.55 an hour plus benefits. This coming from a guy who is from a country where if he is one of the lucky ones can make $9 a day and no benefits. How credible is that?

Ron Hodges said...

anon - Jerry is very credible, humble, and polite. You, whoever you are, have no ownership on America, and Jerry should have ever opportunity and protection that you and I enjoy.

3.55 an hour is slave wages and companies that lobby to protect it, are, in my opinion, slave drivers.

cactus said...

"Remember who/what the real enemy is."

Absolutely right. The real enemy is arrogance, racism, and the assumption of arbirtary authority over our fellow man.

Fight it wherever you find it.

Anonymous said...

The Filipino contract workers here signed a contract. They are not owed anything. They are adults. Try opening a business in the shithole of the world called the Philippines if you are not Filipino. They make shit money there that's why they are here. It is about economics. We do not owe them anything at all.

Anonymous said...

I hope that this attitude isn't typical of the level of respect that people have here for the people on whose backs this community was built.

Anonymous said...

blah blah blah. The contract workers were brought here to work. That's right, to work. When their contract is up they should leave. Sound cruel? Why? Try overstaying your visa in the PI. I was wrong about them being adults though. Most are just grown children. Try talking to a Filipina about world politics LOL!

Anonymous said...


How much did you pay Bernard?

lil_hammerhead said...

Racist idiots abound.

Anonymous said...

some people just have the nerve!I wonder if that RACIST anonymous a55#o73 and I emphasize on the word RACIST!!! is a Local? if he/she is a local let me tell u something: " tai respetun taotao hao lai, an taya lat maolek para un sangan pues famatkilu i pachot mu s2pid gai mamalao...!" and if ur not a chamorro it means "u have no RESPECT, if u have nuttin better 2 say then shut yo trapp.stupid! have shame on urself!

HBM said...

"Try talking to a Filipina about world politics LOL!"

No offense, Anonymous, but judging from the racist sentiments of your post, I'd guess that trying to talk to you about world politics would be a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Hodges, thank you so much for this letter and for your unwaivering support. I did not attend the prayer rally but I cried and felt very proud when I read this letter.

Thanks again Mr.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, any Filipina wouldn't want to talk to you with your attitude. and if they do, they are just being polite

Anonymous said...

You guys are proud that a unity march drew 1/4 the guest workers on island for a 3 hour show that no one missed work for and the NMI government to not even respond to?

Hanson and Hodges made honest observations. Until guest workers have the nerve to rise against opressive hotels, they will never receive fair treatment. They have not yet earned or diserve respect of American labor unions that have fought for their rights.

Anonymous said...

Calling PI workers weak is a compliment. A more accurate statement is that they are the worlds premier beggars and anyone visiting PI can "trust but verify" that as an accurate fact.

The are religious fanatics having been brainwashed to never speak up against the ruling party. They grow children and you can verify that PI is the worlds only country where people are the number 1 export.

The more workers send $ to PI the more children the uneducated people want to have and their poverty perpetuates itself.

These marches and rallies here are completly pointless. They were raised to be poor workers and that is all they can to be.

Talk with them of politics or world affairs...yea right.

Anonymous said...

Lil_Hammerhead 118
Wierd Elle 50

Anonymous said...

"Calling PI workers weak is a compliment. A more accurate statement is that they are the worlds premier beggars and anyone visiting PI can "trust but verify" that as an accurate fact."

I have never read a more accurate portrayal of the Filipino worker and the Philippines in general. I see them yapping on their cell phones like little kids and I see young Filipina women hanging on the arms of old white trash. Their country is an utter shithole. They breed and breed to keep their human export market #1 and even have designated an entire area as an organ transplant city. You see Hanson, Hodges, Woodruff and others championing their cause...what cause? Send them home now before we have to support them even more. Shit.

Anonymous said...

To the person making all of those racist posts about the Philippines: I sense a romantic rejection in your past. Maybe one day you will get over it.

Ron Hodges said...

No one could ever say our "chamber", HANMI, and administration aren't good when it comes to expert lobby efforts in Washington DC.

US lawmakers are about to freeze our next minimum wage increase.

This is a national disgrace.

I would like the FBI to investigate who the NMI lobby team met with and how those individuals voted on (or influenced) minimum wage matters.

This seems like a yet uncovered Jack Abramoff donation sceme.

Or perhaps leaders can address this at your next A team pocket meeting.

Anonymous said...

Hey "Calling PI workers are weak",

You can say, post all the garbage about the Philippines and the Filipinos, but you can never erase the fact that you are just a mere garbage. You are uneducated ignorant moron. We have our own currency and we can produce our rice, we can produce salt, we can produce our own soap. We have good doctors and hospitals that you locals are being taken care of like human. If you have higher buildings here in Saipan compared to the buildings in the Philippines, maybe then you have a small reason to be howling like a mad dog. Have you ever traveled? Maybe not! Poor howler. How about you the so-called locals, what do you have to boast about? There's nothing but PUGUA. Know your history so you will know where you came from or knowe where your ancestors came from. You are just lucky because you are under the wings of UNCLE SAM that you are house with. If not for US that you despise, you are nothing, nothing at all. Shame on you. Native locals are nice, God fearing, respectable people unlike you.

Anonymous said...

to you, you racist moron... i honestly think you need to shut your mouth before you embarrass yourself to the extent that you might just want to die or something like that... i think that your posts are full of crap! you are an ignorant person and people like you should just jump off a cliff... YOU RACIST... hmm, i wonder, that house you are living in, did a Filipino take part in the construction of your house? That car that you drive, when it breaks and you bring it to a repair shop does a Filipino fix it? that road that we all drive on, who labored on it? locals? i think not! if that computer you are using might break, who do u think will fix it? a local? good luck mann!

and for you downgrading the locals, i think you need to take a chilL pill because not all locals think negative about the Filipinos here on our island! i suggest you shut up as well


Anonymous said...


dekada lawyer said...





Kagman Community Center
Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 6:00 p.m.
(Kagman, Capitol Hill, Papago, Santa Lourdes)

San Vicente Elementary School Cafeteria
Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 6:00 p.m.
(DanDan, San Vicente, Kannat Tabla, Fina Sisu)

Garapan Elementary School Cafeteria
Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at 6:00 p.m.
(San Roque, Tanapag, As Matuis, Puerto Rico, Garapan)

Koblerville Community Center
Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 6:00 p.m.
(San Antonio, Koblerville, Chalan Piao, Chalan Kanoa, Oleai, Susupe)


How many years of successful work in the Commonwealth do you think should qualify a foreign worker for longer-term residence status?

What do you think of social responsibility requirements such as basic English skills and classes in CNMI history?

What kind of financial responsibility requirements do you think would be fair?

What other factors do you think should be considered?

Anonymous said...

1. 10 years

2. Must pass English profiency and take NMI history at NMC college and pay for it

3.Pay NMI government 500. per year and tax remittance 25%.

4. Worker, not employer, must carry health, life, and car insurance like every law abiding citizen here.

5. Found guilty of any felony, or 2 misdomeaners is sayonara.

6. Must join workers union that charges 100. per month union dues.

7. NMI government should give bounty for turning in illegal filipinos and those who have scammed the system for oh so long.

8. Should not be eligable for public assistance, food stamps, or any US aid

9. Pay CNMI income tax

10. NO operating businesses and locals or Americans allowing them should face jail time

11. Must exit to meet US standards for immigration

12. Gate for them to visit, reletives to visit, or new workers to come is closed as how could we better make Saipan look like a Manila slum than let them live and bread here?

Anonymous said...

To Middle Road Blogger
Can we this new topic about "What are your views on possible longer term residence status for qualified foreign workers?"

Anonymous said...

I said can we discussed this new issue about longterm workers.

...just got lost and lucky.... said...

To Racist anonymous,

I say before you post a stupid, useless, futile comment, you should be brave enough to attach your name in it...

I know a lot of locals who appreciate how the filipinos are helping the NMI community.... And I am thankful to them... Respetu....Respect.

Anonymous said...


...just got lost and lucky.... said...

Yeah right anon... you need quality people not quantity... So you're saying you don't need the thousands of people who joined the Unity March. All you need is a bunch of people that can fit in a pavilion at kilili beach.... good point. keep it up.

Ron Hodges said...

How many years of successful work in the Commonwealth do you think should qualify a foreign worker for longer-term residence status?

1 day. The common consensus among workers here for 17 years is 15 years service. 12 year employees prefer a 10 year requirement and six year workers like the five year plan. Three year veterans like the two year status and so forth. My experience with weak leadership here is that everyone watches out for their own ass. The 1 day person here came with all the sincerity of the rest and organized union mentality is that person deserves the same protections and status.

What do you think of social responsibility requirements such as basic English skills and classes in CNMI history?

The longtime worker here has a wealth of CNMI history knowledge not always reflected in the historical accounting. Further academic opportunities deemed essential, should be provided by the commonwealth.

What kind of financial responsibility requirements do you think would be fair? What other factors do you think should be considered?

NONE, other than the same responsibilities that each and every other citizen here is expected to do and in accordance with US labor and immigration guidelines.

For those of you who just can't wait for the forum to which your village been assigned, feel free to jump into the discussion now, right here on our pages. And while you're at it, feel free to discuss other, related issues as well:

I like this forum because we don’t need to listen to free lawyers tell us their resume, accomplishments, and share 2 hours of grandstanding and patting themselves on the back.

Are you in favor of longer-term residence status for qualified guest workers?

Yes, I am for green cards for every single CGW in the NMI regardless of time served with an unobstructed path to US citizenship. So forever would be the time limit provided that is the term chosen by the long abused worker.

Does it matter to you whether such status is granted by the CNMI Government or by the Federal Government?

Surely you jest.

What do you think are the motives of those participants in this discussion who have led the fight against granting long-term status to guest workers in the federalization bill? Whether or not you trust the motives of all of the participants, do you think that there's any harm in engaging in this process?

In my opinion, their motives are calculated as a desperate strategy by an administration whose human rights record is ghastly and I don’t trust the motives at all, but at that same time there is no harm with engaging them as long as you don’t let yourself be manipulated, as I would expect to happen eventually, given weak workers dealing with free lawyers.

Does the prospect of longer-term residence status under CNMI law affect your views on federalization?


Do you think that this process has caused division in the community? Has any such division been avoidable? Do you think that guest workers and their advocates who support this dialogue and those who do not can set aside their differences for the good of the guest workers?

No, probably not, and it doesn’t matter. I don’t think there is any important division that will adversely effect federalization, which is the important goal for CGW, even those who don‘t know it or have hidden agendas. Let’s face facts, there is minimal unity to start with. I participated in a strike in the mainland US. That union walked out for 13 weeks and not one union member(of 6,000) crossed that picket line…not one. Further the other unions (shops often have several unions representing different groups of workers) were all generally against that concerted effort, but due to respect, none crossed that line in 91 days. That class, is unity. Leadership here is weak, in my opinion. The thought of a general strike here scares unity members to the point they may hide under the table…. and the excuse is that they can not afford to miss one days work. Mark Hanson said “if 3 hotel workers execute a concerted effort, they get fired…but if the entire hotel walks, they get a pay increase and additional vacation…if all hotel workers here walk, then they get a constitutional amendment for additional rights and protections”…so do the math sports fans. I would strongly recommend better leadership if I were a CGW here and the first door I would knock on is Mark Hanson‘s. Eventually, strong workers will demand strong leaders. I will always set aside differences for the good of guest workers, even those with vicious tactics and self serving interests.

Why did they vote that Pinay chick off of American Idol? Is this all part of the same conspiracy?

Perhaps the FFF (Fitial fed fighters) offered the unity union a bone while they paid an Abramoff wannable to screw the Filipino over while their real agenda was freezing the minimum wage here to better prepare big business interests for the post federalization NMI…but what do I know, I’m just a teacher, not a free lawyer.

Inquiring minds want to know what YOU think! Deluge us all with your wisdom and insight.

I more important immediate concern to CGW is the US stance on illegal employment, immigration fraud, and illegal/bogus business ownership ventures. I have drafted a general amnesty plan but honestly there seem to be so many free lawyers involved with this, that they would be more qualified than I to author such legislation.

Anonymous said...

There was a time when labor unions had a place in America. Now they are responsible for the bankrupcy of Auto manufacturers, Steel industries, Airline companies and more. Unions entitle you to get your high salary and benefits... IF you are lucky enough to find a job in your skill. And if you do find the job, often it's part of the year only. Not everyone can be a teacher with tenure and get 5 months paid vacation every year. And if $3.55 an hour is slave wages, is $4.50 also slave wages? How about $10? When someone has all medical, housing, food, transportation, uniforms paid, does that count as wages? How about tips? What do you think of the many States that have minimum wages less than $4 an hour? It's easy to Generalize. $3.55 an hour is a kings ransom in the Philippines. I don't hear the Filipinos complaining about it. Your attention should be directed to helping US Citizens get higher wages.

Ron Hodges said...

"Your attention should be directed to helping US Citizens get higher wages."

I could not agree with this statement more. To better help native residents of the NMI, who of course are US citizens, we must increase the minimum wage and improve the status of CGW to green card, so many will vacate, which will force HANMI to pay remaining US citizens of the NMI higher wages based solely on supply/demand.

Thank you anon, whoever you are, for affirming Rononomics 101.

Abbreviation-Challenged said...

What is CGW?

Commonwealth Guest Worker?

Ron Hodges said...

Ring the bells...s.2739 passed in this early 3:50 am unanimously. This is the offical press release of Rep. George Miller.

“For more than a decade, a lobbyist by the name of Jack Abramoff joined then-Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-TX) and others in Congress to block our reform efforts. We sought these changes so that we could put a stop to the well-documented and widespread abuse of poor men and women in the garment and tourism industry in the CNMI and to better secure America's borders.

“Jack Abramoff is now in prison and Tom Delay has resigned in disgrace. Very few people would defend the status quo in the CNMI, which has done such damage to workers and their families over the years.

“Coupled with the increase in the minimum wage that we enacted last year, this bill will help put an end to the old practices and, I hope, will help the CNMI open a new chapter of economic prosperity in compliance with American law.”

Anonymous said...

Sho nuff...Miller finally got back at those foreign fuckers in the CNMI for trying to horn in on his garment pal's profits.

Anonymous said...

Thanksgiving Mass

We are inviting all members of the community, guest workers (Filipinos, Chinese, Bangladeshis, Nepalese, Korean, Japanese, etc.) businessmen, concerned locals, organizations and individuals, the silent majority (you know who you are),everyone who in one way or another support our cause to attend the Thanksgiving Mass on Sunday at the Kristo Rai Church, Garapan, at 8am.

Our struggle continues, we are still soliciting signatures for our petition for improved status for all long-term guest workers from the federal government. We are encouraging everyone to come and sign this petition. We will have a pot lunch party at the Beach Road pavillon across Century Insurance after the Mass.

Our heartfelt gratitude to the Almighty God, to the members of the U.S Congress (Senators and Congressmen), Federal officials, human rights groups, and all those who helped make this a reality.

Our special gratitude to Ms. Wendy Doromal who fought for almost two decades for justice and fair treatment for all guest workers in the CNMI. We invite everyone to visit the website www.unheardnomore.blogspot.com for more information regarding the struggle of guest workers in the CNMI.

No good cause is ever lost! Congratulations to everyone!

God bless us all! May justice reign in the CNMI!

Thank you! Maraming salamat po! Si yuus maase!

Jerry Custodio
Human Dignity Movement
Saipan, CNMI

Anonymous said...

Fortunately, the economies of China and the Philippines are booming, even better than the USA and (of course) the CNMI.

Bangladesh is a bit worrisome, though, despite the new rail link to India. Nepal just elected a new Maoist government to replace its monarchy, which is promising.

Anonymous said...

it seems ms. doromal and mr hodges were right on this law bill and the goa report offers 4 options for all workers the TTT has changed support for the residency plan and the free lawyers and fitial fed fighters have gone thank god we have some smart and loyal friends

Anonymous said...

poor dumb contract workers almost signed into nmi residency...funny and sad that they need so much help

Anonymous said...

It's even more sad that so many of those contract workers who have naively trusted Ron Hodges, Mark Hanson, the Ombudsperson, and Miss Wendy will end up bewildered and betrayed as they are sent back to their homelands.

former fitial fed fighter...not said...

will the fitial fed fighters that agreed to meet again go forward in light of the fed bill passing?

will cgw's unite behind Irene and and others?

Thanks tina and jim and wendy and ron for sound direction here

Marites said...

The majority of the guest workers now are no longer supporting Tina, DEKADA because they learn that walang mapapala!

Marites said...

Oh! well, people should get along now. Anyway, we're not here for disrespect others. The majority of the guest workers is already waiting for whatever come (that's what i mean, you know). Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Marites, I don't think guest workers have nothing to gain now with Tina's bill. They will still gain from it. Tina's bill is to make these people who have no status in the CNMI to have or be legal so that when the effectivity of the fed come, these people are qualified. Just a personal opinion

Anonymous said...

And these are the people who are also qualified under Tina's bill...

Anonymous said...


you have been brainwashed by the same individual that calls you and other foreign workers "illegal scam artists that have yet to be caught".

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