Wednesday, July 28, 1999

OSHA must be included in investigation

By John S. DelRosario Jr.

In the continuing investigation of federal agencies who may have stepped outside the purview of pertinent federal laws, OSHA’s investigation merits, well, an investigation itself for allegedly conducting more probes of the CNMI than all related industries in the US mainland.

How interesting the fact that California’s garment industry have violated worker rights in greater magnitude and number, yet federal and state safety officials have turned their heads the other way. Yet, OSHA was able to muster up the energy and resources to head out to the CNMI to literally play lord over the safety of employees in the local apparel industry. It would be interesting to find out who ordered the stepped-up investigation of the CNMI’s apparel industry.

A recent review of OSHA statistics, for all industries in FY 1998, shows that the US has a rate of incidents of 2.6 times higher than the CNMI. If I may illustrate a case in point:
All CNMI Industries: All US Industries:
Inspections 634 Inspections 23,211
Violations 1,073 Violations 102,638
V/I 1.69% V/I 4.42%

This represents nearly 2.7 percent of all inspections in the US and 1.05 percent of all violations. What I can’t understand is the willful turn of heads away from California’s thousands of worker rights violations.

Perhaps there’s the allure of the more exotic setting of the islands where OSHA officials get to kick-back under the sun sipping their favorite drinks after work. But I would strongly recommend that the House Resources Committee ought to subpoena the OSHA boys to specifically answer who ordered the stepped-up investigation of the CNMI. I am sure the big boys would have an answer for Congressman Don Young.

Fortification mentality

As I was helping my cousins prepare a grave for a relative last weekend, I couldn’t help but notice the garden of small cement fences built by families around graveyards of loved-ones. I can understand this sentiment but it also has its own downside.

The fortification mentality has in fact resulted in wasted space between graveyards in a cemetery that is nearing full occupancy. Imagine if per chance during a November 1st ceremony someone contracts a heart attack. In the words of a doctor: "You better plan your heart attack and good luck if you ever make it to the ambulance before your last breath". You’d be stumbling all over low and high fences. I figure that by the
time the EMT team gets to you for your classiest ride to CHC, you won’t
be critically ill but dead!

I figure too that by the time I expire, the wall on the southern side of the Korean church would be the only place where they (won’t bury me), but hang my sugared body for the flies, maggots, sun and rain. But I’ll make sure my right hand is extended forward with a recorded message: "Thank you for the chenchule`!"
still can’t figure out why would families build fences as though dead loved-ones would quietly slip away while nobody is looking, huh? Well, maybe there’s a good reason though I much prefer the military graveyards that allows for neat clipping of grass on a regular basis with tiny crosses and small flowers. Perhaps it’s a bit late for rearrangement of a crowded cemetery of fences.


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