Senator Cantwell Highlights Critical Protections For Northern Mariana Islands Workers

Senator Cantwell continues to call for a balanced approach between economic development and labor protections.

February 6, 2018

Sen. Cantwell’s Opening Statement Can Be Found Here.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) voiced strong support for the inclusion of important labor protections in S.2325, the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act. 

“This committee passed a bill [H.R. 339] last year which, upon enactment in August, removed the loopholes which allowed construction companies to get CW visas.  And during the past year, we have been working on a longer term solution to the expiring CW program,” said Senator Cantwell. “This bill, in my view, effectively promotes continued economic growth for the Marianas, but also imposes additional safeguards to make sure that protections are in place for workers.  Those who mistreat their employees will suffer the consequences.” 

“The federal government must ensure that the Northern Marianas has the tools to grow its economy while at the same time ensuring protection of fundamental labor rights,” said Senator Cantwell. Senator Cantwell also raised concerns about any potentially lax local enforcement of labor protections and anti-money-laundering laws, stating that “the local government must remain vigilant.”

The video of Senator Cantwell’s opening statement can be found here. 

Witness testimony will be available online immediately before the start of each hearing at on committee website.