5 Feb 2007

Marshalls business opposed to new labour law

2:29 pm on 5 February 2007

The president of the Marshall Islands Chamber of Commerce, Jack Niedenthal, says the private sector remains opposed to the new alien labour law and wants to see it amended.

He says the law affects many foreign workers who are in the country legitimately and who contribute to its economy.

Mr Niedenthal says employers also face extremely stiff penalties and fines if found to be breaking the law.

"Under this new law, when you have a foreign worker here; after they're done with their two year contract, they have to leave the country and can't come back for three more years. So, if you have someone from outside, say an accountant or an engineer or somebody like that, you get them all trained, you get them up to speed, then they have to leave."

Mr Niedenthal says the private sector is also opposed to the clause in the law which states that the government is exempt from its provisions.

The Attorney-General, Posesi Bloomfield, has criticised business leaders for speaking out because he says their opposition is patronising and offensive to parliament and the legislative process.