14 Sep 2009

Guam plans to hire Filipino workers could be derailed by US Bill amendments

6:18 am on 14 September 2009

Plans to hire 20-thousand overseas Filipino workers for the construction of the US military headquarters in Guam next year may be derailed by proposed amendments to the National Defence Authorisation Bill.

Guam's senate is looking to hire Filipino workers to meet its manpower requirements for the relocation of US military facilities from Okinawa to Guam in the next five years.

However an amendment to the Authorisation Bill in the US House of Representatives provides for a cap of thirty percent on the number of foreign workers allowed to work on federal projects.

But because the Senate version of the bill doesn't have the provision, members of the House and Senators will soon combine to determine if the amendment remains.

James Martinez of the Guam Contractors Association says they are pushing for the 30 percent cap to be omitted.

"It's one thing that we're concerned about because our economy can't handle that - any increase in price for the US taxpayer for one thing but also there's no guarantee that there's going to be an available workforce coming in from the US to do this job."