CNMI GARMENT INDUSTRY TOLD TO CLEAN UP OR LOSE SUPPORT

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By Nick Legaspi

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (July 7, 1998 - CNMI News On-Line)--- Lawmakers have warned the garment industry that it would lose its supporters in the Legislature if it continues to violate federal and local laws on labor as well as safety in the work place.

In a meeting with resident representatives of the Saipan Garment Manufacturers Association last week House Speaker Diego T. Benavente said that surprise inspections by labor, immigration and other officials always find violations.

He denounced garment companies that continue to violate federal and local laws because they continue to embarrass the Commonwealth.

During the same meeting Senator Pete Reyes, who declared himself as a supporter of the industry, said that the garment companies would lose their friends in the Legislature if they failed to clean up their act.

Reyes said that repeated violations by some companies were making it difficult for him to defend the industry.

He urged the garment companies to improve its treatment of workers and comply with safety and health regulations.

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