Friday, August 10, 2007

Chamber Vote

The Saipan Chamber of Commerce meeting yesterday was interesting. A vote was held to make sure the formal position of the Chamber on the federalization issue agreed with the position held by most of its members. The answer was an overwhelming yes. Votes ranged from 10 to 1 in favor (3 positions), 4 to 1 in favor (1 position) and 2 to 1 in favor (1 position) of the positions promulgated by the Chamber’s Board. Looks like they had a pretty good finger on the pulse of members.

This photo was shamelessly pilfered from the Saipan Tribune website.

The print media here reported on it and of course made a certain Ron Hodges contrary remarks and thoughts a far bigger part of the story than they should have been. One must remember that all, yes all, the reporting staff of the two english language newspapers here are contract workers themselves and have a vested interest in the outcome of this proposed federal takeover of CNMI self government. The raving Hodges character, by the way, has a non-business selling real estate to no one on Saipan and employs zero, wala, zilch contract workers. I noticed the Variety had the most Hodges-skewed coverage.

I predict a barrage of immigration related stories pushed to the front pages and I predict some big, staged immigration gaff, which will just coincidently coincide with the arrival of the US congressional delegation. What a surprise. Remember the same PR tactic is used when each and every US envoy hits the tarmac here. Stayman is a PR whiz. We need to take a whiz… on his leg.

The print reporters here think they and other contract workers will be granted a fast track to the US nirvana job fair in the sky. What they’ll get, of course, is a limited visa to Guam where the canon fodder folks over at DoD need a few thousand workers to dig the trenches for the Okinawa retreat position. Once that job is done they will be herded back to the PI like a pencil without an eraser is tossed in the trash.

The lambs are easily led to slaughter.


Jeff said...

Boooo! Ron was a lot closer to reality than the Chamber, whose motto should be Give me cheap Labor or give me death.

Filipinos should be looking to clean up the Phillipines, and not just trying to escape to the states to save their own tail. I'll agree on that.

But the fact that Filipinos make more here than there, doesn't make what has gone on here right.

Every day is a new horror story of some asshole who hasn't paid his people their meager wages in months. It makes the respectable people look bad.

Besides, asking the chamber if they want to keep cheap labor is like asking my four year old if he wants ice cream. The four year old who doesn't is the newsworthy one, like Ron. You don't write about the plane that landed safely.

You also don't have to employ contract workers to be a business here that matters.

Envelop Ideas said...

So they voted but at the end of the day, I am the one to choose which bread to buy, what remittance company to use, where to put gas for my car, select groceries that I want, what radio station to tune in, and what telephone company to make a call.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

You may choose only amoung those businesses , if any, left running after the federal hatchet job is done. Your boycotting options are about to get much slimmer. And what is worse, the human toll in lost jobs and family suffering will be heavy, both here, and in the home countries of guest workers working here. Its hard to remit a percentage of ZERO to ones family back home.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of boycotts, make sure you cancel any phone service (landline or cell) you may have. Oh, and don't forget that you can only purchase locally-produced food items (the rest comes in via Chamber members). Oh - and no more eating, staying, or water-parking at any hotels. Whoops, there are some restaurants you'll have to avoid also. And don't forget, you won't be able to market your article XII real estate through A1 Real Estate either. Good luck.

bradinthesand said...

finally someone recognizes a need for local writers. now if we could only get the government to shell out more for local schools...

Envelop Ideas said...

who's boycotting?

Bruce A. Bateman said...

The implication in your post of Aug 10th indicates that you are, env.

If not that, then what does that post mean?

Envelop Ideas said...

c'mon bruce, i still listen to Harry. You and anonymous concluded it, not me.

My post means choosing what and where to spend my money is my prerogative and not your concern anymore.

Biba Bruce!

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Thanks for the clarification Envelope, (sorry it took so long to look back at this string).

It is always the perogative of the buyer to choose where and when to spend, with the one exception of a government forced monoply. (No others can long exist).