Guam - Local and federal contractors are attending a weeklong conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. George Friday is the Regional Administrator for DOL's Wage & Hour Division, and told KUAM News, "The catalyst of course is the movement or the announced movement of the base from Okinawa to Guam. The expectation is that over a number of years there will be a huge investment in relationship to relocating the service men and their families from Japan.
"And as a result of that, our enforcement part is that we enforce the Davis-Bacon Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Service Contract Act monies that are paid by the U.S. Government to do construction and to do services on those buildings that come under our jurisdiction. So our role is to enforce those laws."
According to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the military buildup, at the peak of construction in early 2014 it has been estimated that there will be approximately 21,000 construction workers on Guam. Of that total, about 18,000 will come from off-island, with approximately 13,000 of those workers being H-2b visa laborers.
"The reason we're here is twofold", continued Friday. "One is to explain to people on the island the survey process, and we want them to participate in the survey so that we could get what wage rates are applicable to the island/ "The second part is to talk with them about how we enforce the law what their responsibilities are what the rights of employees are."
Friday says the island should also know the U.S. Department of Labor has two staff working on Guam with four more to be stationed here next year. Additionally, two DOL staff will be working in Saipan.