Guam – According We Are Guahan, the Territorial Land Use Commission will hear two applications for “Conditional Use” permits to build barracks for temporary workers to support the military buildup on Thursday.
One barracks will be located on Marine Corps Drive at the Royal Hawaiian Apartments, across from the Denny’s in Tamuning. This barracks will house 860 temporary workers, with 7 workers living in units that are as small as 450 square feet. The 7 workers will share 1 toilet, 1 sink and 1 shower.
The other barracks will on “Airport Road” at the Hotel Mai’ana, near Home Depot. This barracks will house 700 temporary workers, with most of the apartments being 2 bedroom units. The current plans call for 10 workers to live in the 2 bedroom units.
According to the Final EIS, there are going to be seven more barracks. DoD estimates that, when all the barracks are complete, there will be enough housing for up to 18,762 temporary workers. GovGuam must take steps to ensure that it has the resources to inspect and monitor all of the barracks. One step might be to charge the owners of temporary worker barracks an annual “occupation fee” of $10 per worker.
A fee of $10 per worker would create an additional $187,000 for GovGuam to hire more employees to make sure that all contractors comply with Guam law.
DoD predicts that the “construction phase” of the buildup will end by 2020. No temporary workers, or housing for temporary workers will be needed after then. “The Department of Defense promised that our local workforce would be used first,” says We Are Guåhan member and lawyer Julian Aguon. “Why are we preparing to bring over 18,000 workers from off-island when there are more than 17,000 unemployed people here on Guam?”
“In addition,” Aguon continued, “these off-island companies have no plans to remove the barracks after the temporary workers leave. We must demand these off-island companies, who are set to make billions of dollars from the buildup, do not just walk away leaving issues for our community to clean up after the construction peak is over.”