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  • “No Walk in the Park”:US Empire and the Racialization of Civilian Military Labor in Guam, 1944–1962

Drawing from studies on empire, labor, and race, this essay examines the recruitment, work, and social experiences of civilian military laborers in post– World War II Guam. This essay argues that the postwar militarization of the island resulted in the racialization of Chamorro, Filipino, and white American workers. The result of this process was the creation of a Filipino labor class that became synonymous with military employment. Since the US military and its contractors perceived Filipinos as being amenable to labor discipline, they hired Filipinos in larger numbers than Chamorros and white Americans. This essay relies on military memos, government correspondences, Philippine newspapers, labor organization correspondences, and oral history interviews from archives in Guam, Maryland, Northern California, the Republic of the Philippines, and Washington, DC.

Camp Roxas was no walk in the park when I arrived on New Year’s Eve 1951. I was taken aback by the primitive conditions, living in crowded Quonset huts with no heat protection. And they could be very hot. There would be 20, 30 [Filipino] men to a Quonset with mosquito nets hanging for a stifling effect. We had community bathrooms, clean but public.1

The above quotation was taken from an interview with the late Donald Marshall, a white American who worked as the general manager and personnel director for Luzon Stevedoring from 1951 to 1955. Marshall spoke about his time working at Camp Roxas, which was the largest company camp for Filipino laborers on Guam. While Marshall’s reminiscence provides insight into some of the harsh living conditions that Filipino workers had to endure, it also tells us that the US military depended on Filipinos to provide civilian labor for the military expansion on the island.

The story of Filipino workers in Guam is part of a larger legacy of Filipino laborers in the Pacific. Most notably, they were recruited to Hawai‘i as plantation workers during the early twentieth century.2 However, as Vicente M. Diaz discusses, because of ties forged through Spanish colonialism, Filipinos have been migrating to Guam since the seventeenth century. By the early twentieth century, Guam became a destination for exiles of the Philippine–American War.3 Up until World War II, this was the primary context in which Filipinos were perceived as racial minorities on the island. As the historian T. Fujitani argues, World War II marked a significant shift in the experiences of racialized minorities and colonial subjects living under US governance.4 The postwar arrival of Filipinos to Guam marked a significant shift in that these men were working as civilian laborers who constructed buildings, installations, and roads throughout the island in support of the US military’s Cold War operations. By the late 1940s about 28,000 Filipinos and 7,000 white Americans had migrated to Guam to serve as civilian military workers.5 In contrast, Northeast Asians, Chamorros, and other Pacific Islanders also worked as civilian military laborers, [End Page 813] but they were fewer in number, with the military and its contractors employing only 5,831 Chamorros even though they made up about two-thirds of the island’s entire population.6 Nonetheless, the experiences of these workers were vastly different and were predicated on their racial and national backgrounds, especially since the Philippines became an independent country in 1946.

Using empire, labor, and race as the primary categories of analysis, this essay argues that the post–World War II militarization of the island resulted in the creation of a Filipino labor class that became synonymous with military employment. This process was based on the relational racialization of Chamorro, Filipino, and white Americans that shifted within the context of World War II. First, this essay explores the racialization of civilian military labor and traces the connections that linked Guam, the Philippines, and the United States under the military–industrial complex. Second, the story shifts to focus on the immigrant, work, and social experiences of Filipino and white American laborers. Third, it underscores Filipino discontent and the making of the Philippine consulate in Guam. Ultimately, issues such as access to employment, the creation of a hierarchical wage scale, an unequal immigration policy, and the segregation of company camps helped create the island’s postwar civilian military labor class, one that persists today in military and tourist industries.

The Search for Civilian Military Laborers

During World War II, the US military’s strategy for defeating Japan was predicated on the retaking of Japanese-occupied islands throughout the Pacific. Some of the most important sites included Guam, Midway, the Philippines, Saipan, and Tinian. The reinvasion of the Pacific was facilitated via massive bombing raids, which weakened Japanese forces. Military bombardment also had negative repercussions, since it resulted in the deaths of many native people and destroyed buildings, farms, and villages throughout the Pacific.7 Immediately after the US military invasion of Guam on July 22, 1944, the US Construction Battalion (also known as CBs or Seabees) began working on various sites throughout the island. In general, the Seabees bulldozed and paved airstrips and roads. On Guam, Seabees paved the island’s main highway, Marine Drive, as well as the airstrips at Tiyan and Orote Point in 1944 (Chamorros were forced to clear these fields under Japanese occupation during World War II).8 In turn, these airstrips and roads were used to transport military vehicles for the US war effort. While the recruitment of several thousand Seabees to Guam was integral for military expansion, the US military also considered using Chamorros as a source of labor. [End Page 814]

Military officials believed Chamorro men were unproductive workers, even though some were used for unskilled work. For example, on February 1, 1944, a US Office of Naval Intelligence study claimed:

The average Chamorro is intelligent and willing, but he inherits certain characteristics which at times make him appear to be a slow worker. The principal one of these is an unwillingness to request instructions. A Chamorro worker, on coming to a part of a task which is unfamiliar to him, will generally procrastinate about requesting instruction until the foremen or his employer directs the next move; or he will solve the situation in an unorthodox manner and produce an unexpected result.9

The belief that Chamorros were not proactive and unproductive was reinforced with the argument that they did not have the “background and the education necessary for training in the skilled trades.”10 However, if Chamorros lacked the “characteristics” and “skills” necessary for skilled labor, this was not due to their being lazy or incompetent. Chamorros did not have training for skilled work because of the colonial education they received up until the 1950s. Beginning in the early 1900s, Chamorros were subjected to a colonial education curriculum that stressed elementary English language, health and sanitation, citizenship training, and vocational training in unskilled work.11 In addition, most Chamorro men in the prewar period were farmers, while few Chamorro men held civilian military jobs. Therefore, most of them were never given the opportunity to obtain the training necessary to be electricians, engineers, mechanics, and other skilled workers. Statistics for the employment of Chamorro women are scarce, but it seems that they were hired only as nurses, secretaries, and other office support staff positions, which also made them subservient to military officials.12 Finally, most Chamorros were still struggling to survive and reunite with family members who had been scattered throughout the island because of the US military’s bombardment and reinvasion of Guam. Even though Chamorros were perceived as an unreliable source of labor, other Pacific Islanders throughout Micronesia were considered better sources for civilian military labor.

The military weighed the possibility of recruiting other Micronesians such as Carolinians, but they were also perceived as unsuitable workers. According to the historian David Hanlon, military officials argued that “they [Micronesians] worked in groups rather than as individuals, and with the line between work and play often obscured. Nonetheless, against American expectations of work, they looked lazy, unenterprising, improvident, and both unable and unwilling to work at regular, sustained labor.”13 These negative perceptions of Carolinians as unreliable laborers paralleled the views that Americans had of [End Page 815] Chamorros as workers. The only jobs that military officials actively recruited Micronesians for outside Guam were as “houseboys, cooks, and laundresses” for individual units and officers.14 The relegation of Micronesians to unskilled servant labor reinforced the perceptions of Micronesians (and by extension Chamorros) as a poor labor source. In addition, since Pacific Islanders were believed to be not amenable to labor discipline, US military officials turned to a group of workers that could be controlled.

The US military also used Japanese prisoners of war (POW) to augment Seabee labor. Even though there were only 1,250 Japanese POWs on Guam (in comparison with the several thousand Seabees), they did provide a source of cheap labor that the military sought to subordinate.15 According to military reports, Japanese POWs were supposed to work ten hours per day and on projects considered essential such as “road building, camp maintenance, carpenter work, sanitation, and labor details.”16 However, they were also used for unskilled work. In November 1945 Commanding Officer D. D. Gurley requested that thirty Japanese POWs be assigned to work on a “beautification” project that would deploy them for “planting palms, shrubs, and flowers” at the Naval Air Station in Hagåtña.17 Essentially, Japanese POWs were forced to work as unskilled laborers, which did not require formal training. Moreover, Japanese POW laborers were reportedly in “excellent condition,” and, according to military officials, “many of them prefer[red] to remain prisoners there [on Guam] and draw their $0.80 daily pay than be repatriated.”18 While these claims of Japanese POWs preferring to remain on Guam is questionable, it is known that Chamorros and other Pacific Islanders were deemed incompetent and not amenable to labor discipline. For this reason, Japanese POWs continued to be a temporary source of labor until they were repatriated at the end of World War II. This forced the military to find another group of workers to recruit.

By 1946 the US military had already begun contemplating how it could supplant Seabee and Japanese POW labor. The island commander of Guam, L. D. Herrle, recommended that the US military recruit Chinese workers:

It is recommended that Chinese coolie labor be imported. Chinese are considered better workers than Filipinos, Polynesians and other peoples of the former Japanese mandated islands, and other non-enemy orientals. They are more amenable to labor camp discipline, and are less likely to mingle with the local population. The Guamanians who have been queried in the connection favor the importation of Chinese provided that they are again deported upon completion of their term of employment.19

Herrle’s recommendations demonstrated that the military sought workers who they believed were reliable, but most importantly who were amenable to [End Page 816] labor discipline. The power to control workers was the common thread that linked Seabees, Japanese POWs, and the potential hiring of Chinese workers. For Chamorros and other Micronesians, the threat of labor discipline in the form of deportation did not coerce or subdue them, since they already lived on Guam or were from nearby islands in Micronesia. Furthermore, American perceptions that the Chinese were docile, reliable, and exploitable derived from the discourse of Chinese laborers in the continental United States, which began in the nineteenth century. The views that Herrle and other people shared were similar to the perceptions that Leland Stanford and others subscribed to in hiring Chinese men to help construct the transcontinental railroad.20 Herrle’s comments also claimed that Chamorros supported the recruitment of Chinese workers as long as they were eventually deported. However, it is unclear what specific “Guamanians” were consulted. Lastly, Herrle believed that Chinese workers were culturally different enough from Chamorros, which would deter the two groups from mingling. Yet the permanent settlement of Chinese men on Guam posed a paradoxical concern, since they could gain residency through intermarriage with Chamorro women or by living on Guam for three continuous years. These potential outcomes were problematic for military officials, since it was difficult to find a source of workers who they believed were not national security threats and would not intermingle with Chamorros. However, as with the Chamorros and Carolinians before them, recruiting thousands of Chinese workers did not occur. The communist sentiment was growing in China during the late 1940s, which fostered political tensions between China and the United States. Given the US military’s shift to relying on privately contracted construction companies in the Philippines and elsewhere, the US military eventually disregarded the “Chinese laborer” option and instead relied on Filipinos and white Americans as the primary sources of civilian military labor.

Brown-Pacific-Maxon, Luzon Stevedoring, and the Military–Industrial Complex

According to the historian Michael Hunt, the US military–industrial complex combines “a large standing military, substantial and sustained military spending, and an increasingly active research program.”21 While Hunt’s argument is accurate, the military–industrial complex also requires the mobilization of workers and companies internationally to carry out the construction of military bases and installations necessary for military expansion.22 Thus the US government’s preexisting labor agreement with and its connections to contractors in [End Page 817] the Republic of the Philippines provided the pretext for recruiting Filipinos and white Americans to Guam.

The recruitment of Filipinos to work on Guam as civilian military laborers was predicated on a diplomatic exchange of notes labor agreement (another form of treaty) made between the United States and the Philippines in 1947. Initially, the US government wanted Filipinos to help repatriate the bodies of American soldiers who had died in World War II and to serve as stewards with the Guam Air Material Area.23 After 1947 the US military needed workers and used this agreement as the precedent to recruit Filipinos as civilian construction workers. In addition, this agreement also set the terms of wages and privileges that these workers were supposed to receive, which some military contractors used as their standards. The terms of compensation included “15 centavos per hour, plus a 25 percent overseas pay differential, free laundry services, free medical and dental care, guaranteed transportation to and from point of hire, pay while in travel, compensation for service connected to injury or death, overtime pay, and holiday pay.”24 While these terms might have seemed generous for Filipinos, the power in this agreement was vested in the contractors and the US military. For example, some contractors saved money by paying their workers in Philippine pesos instead of US dollars. This allowed corporations to obtain higher profits, since the exchange rate was one dollar to two pesos in 1950.25 Moreover, the length of their employment was listed at one year and renewable up to three years. This limit on employment was to ensure that Filipinos could not apply for permanent residency, since people who lived on Guam for three years could legally petition for permanent residency. In addition, companies did not always adhere to this agreement. This resulted in numerous cases of workers who did not receive all their contractual privileges. One of the largest military contractors on Guam, Luzon Stevedoring (LUSTEVECO), played a vital role in connecting these and other labor matters between the Philippines and the United States.26

The relationship between LUSTEVECO and US military interests dates back to the Spanish–American War of 1898. The company was founded by US veterans of that war and became one of the leading cargo transportation companies in Southeast Asia.27 After World War II, the company came under the ownership of the Americans Edward M. Grimm and Charles Parsons, himself a World War II veteran. By 1947 LUSTEVECO was one of the largest military contractors on Guam.28 Thus LUSTEVECO’s acquisition of US military contracts was a result of a historical legacy that directly linked American colonial interests in the Pacific. The navy needed LUSTEVECO to provide [End Page 818] cargo transportation and construction work for naval projects. LUSTEVECO recruited Filipino men for both skilled and unskilled work. Since the company was based in the Philippines, its reliance on Filipino workers was already established, while a small number of white Americans such as Donald Marshall held supervisor and managerial positions. Moreover, LUSTEVECO relied on the Philippine Consolidated Labor Union (PCLU) to assist in recruiting Filipinos.29 When the time had come for LUSTEVECO to recruit workers for Guam, mobilizing a large labor pool was a relatively easy task given its history of stevedoring and its connection with the PCLU. In contrast to LUSTEVECO, Brown-Pacific-Maxon (BPM) was based in the continental United States. While LUSTEVECO’s connection to the Philippines was already established before World War II, BPM established its link to the Philippines after World War II.

BPM also had connections to the US government that dated back to the early twentieth century. Based mainly out of Texas, BPM was a combination of the M. S. Kellogg Company (founded 1901) and the Brown and Root Company (founded 1914). In the late 1940s these two companies formed a conglomerate know as BPM to conduct engineering and construction work in the Pacific.30 By the late 1940s BPM started to recruit workers from the United States and the Philippines. On Guam, BPM received contracts from the US Air Force. But unlike LUSTEVECO, BPM’s worker pool included both Filipinos and white Americans, with the latter coming from the southern United States. White Americans were hired as skilled workers, which was a common practice, since the majority of BPM’s contracts before and during World War II were for federal projects such as the construction of the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station in Texas and for the building of 359 US naval ships.31 On the other hand, BPM hired Filipinos to work mainly as unskilled labor. Thus, BPM’s hiring preference based on race, class, and nationality differed from LUSTEVECO, which openly recruited skilled Filipino workers. These uneven hiring practices informed Guam’s labor hierarchy in the 1940s and 1950s, and lasted until the 1980s.32

Following a racial order of white supremacy, BPM appropriated the structures of the Jim Crow South in its assignment of occupations and in its segregation of company camps in Guam.33 For example, Eugene Morgan came to Guam in the early 1950s as a civilian military worker. He recalled that there was a “heavy quota” for white workers from Texas and Oklahoma, since BPM was in Texas.34 In 1954 Guam senator James T. Sablan shared a similar sentiment during a Guam congressional hearing. As Sablan argued, “The BPM construction company is a company somewhat owned or controlled by Southerners [End Page 819] and they do not want to hire people other than Caucasians and the reason why they have Filipinos is because they give them a slave or low salary. Now as proof of that I don’t think there is a single Negro in that unit.”35 Morgan’s observations and Sablan’s testimony highlighted BPM’s racist southern roots, which was evident in its hiring preferences and in its segregation of company camps. To this effect, BPM and LUSTEVECO, with their ties to the US Empire dating back to the early twentieth century, facilitated the largest in-migration of Filipino workers to Guam.

Coming to Guam

The first wave of Filipinos arrived on Guam in 1947 as workers for LUSTEVECO. Most came from the province of Iloilo in the Visayas.36 The majority of these laborers were men willing to move to Guam for employment opportunities. During this period, the Philippines was in a state of economic and political instability because of the aftermath of World War II and the rising tensions around labor organizing and communism.37 By the late 1940s BPM also began to recruit Filipino workers to Guam. While it is unclear exactly why BPM recruited Filipinos, LUSTEVECO had set the precedent of hiring Filipinos a few years before, an effort endorsed by the US military. This was especially important, since the US Navy had implemented a security clearance that required all people traveling to and from Guam to receive permission from the naval commander.38 To hire Filipinos, BPM was permitted to set up a recruiting station at Clark Air Force Base, located in Angeles City, Philippines. According to the former BPM labor recruiter Gorgonio Cabot:

It was well established already when I joined them. They already had plenty of publications, it was advertised and we continued to advertise about qualified people who were willing to work in Guam. They write, write, write. They could only write, but they [labor applicants] could not come in because we were in Clark Air Force Base. They had to write a letter, addressed to me with the positions they were applying for. We give them a test. Laborers very easy, there’s a fifty-pound bag there, carry it. But carpenters need to know how to read the measurer, and know how to cut wood and carry fifty-pound bag too. You had to have a clean bill of health because the Philippines was full of tuberculosis.39

Cabot’s statement reveals that the US Air Force aided BPM’s recruitment of Filipino workers by permitting the company to use Clark Air Force Base as a recruitment center to interview and evaluate potential laborers. The historian Jana Lipman refers to this overlap as the “blurring line between government and private employer,” which the US military engaged in other US bases such [End Page 820] as Guantánamo Bay.40 Cabot’s interview also demonstrates that the recruitment of unskilled laborers was based on whether a person could carry a fifty-pound bag and was free of communicable diseases. These potential workers came from all over Luzon in hopes of securing employment. However, before any workers could come to Guam, they had to pass strict medical requirements.

All civilian military workers were forced to complete various medical requirements, which made it easier or more difficult to enter Guam based on one’s race, nationality, and place of migration. Workers from the Philippines were required to undergo rigorous examination. They had to provide certification that they were free from “tuberculosis, chronic malaria, amoebic dysentery, venereal disease, and communicable or infectious diseases.”41 Each employee also had to provide documentation of smallpox vaccination and inoculations against typhoid fever and tetanus.42 For the few Chinese laborers who came to Guam, they, too, were subjected to a battery of health inspection requirements that included isolation for fourteen days.43 Other migrant workers from Hawai‘i and the continental United States also had to pass medical requirements (such as being free from smallpox and venereal diseases), but they were not as rigorous as the health inspections that Filipinos had to endure. According to the historian Catherine Choy, American perceptions of Filipinos as “weak, diseased, and hygienically ignorant people” were a common idea in prewar Philippines.44 In light of BPM’s practices, however, Choy’s argument can be extrapolated to include military and corporate perceptions of Filipinos as a “diseased” people in the postwar era. Contrary to the belief that these medical requirements were to protect all the island’s inhabitants, a separate military order required that all military personnel or their families who employed native “servants” be advised to have them examined for diseases as well.45 Thus these hierarchical health requirements based on race and national origin were also implemented to protect the military and their dependents while categorizing Filipinos as the most “diseased” of all recruited civilian military workers. Consequently, it was the labor of these Filipinos and white Americans who passed these disparate immigration prerequisites and subsequently helped expand the military’s presence on the island.46

The Working Lives of Civilian Military Laborers

Filipino and white American men participated in the construction of bases, buildings, roads, and installations that all resulted in an expanded military presence on Guam. Filipinos who worked for LUSTEVECO engaged in unskilled labor that most commonly included clearing overgrown brush, farming, and [End Page 821] stevedoring at the naval base on the prewar village site of Sumay. They also did semiskilled and skilled work that included carpentry, construction, electrical work, painting, plumbing, road paving, and roofing.47 LUSTEVECO also recruited Filipino women to work on Guam as well. Unlike the men, Filipino women engaged only in skilled work. They served as nurses and medical assistants in the company camps, but never totaled more than 1 percent of the labor force.48 In some instances, contractors hired Filipino women as hospital workers rather than nurses on Guam.49 This practice allowed contractors to pay them lower wages as general hospital workers while still benefiting from their formal training as certified nurses. According to the sociologist Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, “[Female] workers provide ‘cheap labor’ to the U.S. economy—meaning, the costs of their labor are cheap acquisitions for U.S. society and/or the conditions of their employment are below prevailing labor standards.”50 Furthermore, companies such as LUSTEVECO hired only seven to eight hospital workers for Camp Roxas, which housed several thousand workers.51 Depending on how many workers needed medical attention, this imbalance in the patient-to-medical-worker ratio was problematic. BPM took a similar approach. However, BPM’s hiring practices and patterns mirrored a racial and gendered hierarchy that privileged white American men over all other workers, including white American women, which was commonplace in the American Jim Crow South.52 They hired, for example, a small number of white American women who held subordinate positions as assistant clerks, clerk typists, and secretaries.53 BPM heavily relied on white American men who filled managerial and skilled positions such as electricians, engineers, foremen, mechanics, and site supervisors.54 Some of these men even had experience as foreign contract workers before coming to Guam.55 By 1950 BPM’s labor force comprised about one thousand white Americans and five thousand Filipinos.56 In short, BPM’s employer practices transplanted a system of white male patriarchy that gave authority to white American men over Chamorros, Filipinos, and white American women. Guam was clearly not devoid of labor stratification.

Working as a civilian military laborer was a dangerous job that sometimes resulted in injury or death. In January 1948 the Filipino workers Felix Sarmago and Felicisimo Caperas were killed in an industrial accident while working for Marianas Stevedoring (MASDELCO), a subsidiary of LUSTEVECO, which managed Camp Roxas in 1956.57 Other Filipino laborers such as Teodoro Gorospe also encountered workplace accidents. On June 26, 1959, Gorospe and an unnamed Chamorro worker came into contact with a hot wire at a voltage substation on Andersen Air Force Base and were electrocuted to death.58 [End Page 822] While information on the number of deaths does not exist, the number of injuries that workers sustained on the job were recorded periodically. During the summer of 1947, BPM averaged seventy-four worker injuries per month (for a three-month span), or 2.4 injuries per day.59 The dangerous environments of working in building construction, heavy machinery, and explosives made Chamorros, Filipinos, and white Americans all susceptible to workplace injuries and/or death. In addition to coping with these hazardous conditions, workplace injuries also placed a financial burden on Filipino laborers. For example, the Filipino worker Antonio E. Lo was sent back to the Philippines for hospitalization for his gastric ulcer. Lo claimed that his employing company LUSTEVECO had guaranteed to pay for his hospitalization, yet it never did.60 It was easier for LUSTEVECO to simply repatriate workers to the Philippines instead of granting them medical treatment on Guam. Thus the susceptibility to injury and/or death, coupled with their employer’s unwillingness to provide medical care for their workers, caused many Filipinos to become frustrated. Moreover, the US military was complicit in this system, since it did not regulate or provide mediation between recruited workers and their companies. Besides the potential for workplace injury and death, contractors adhered to a hierarchical wage scale that privileged white American workers over Chamorros and Filipinos.

White workers received a “territorial post differential” (TPD) that gave them an additional 25 percent bonus on top of their base pay.61 Chamorros were paid the second-highest wages; Filipinos earned the lowest wages. Even though some Filipinos were also supposed to receive a TPD, there were numerous cases in which some of them indicated that it was withheld and never issued.62 While it is unclear how many people received TPD bonuses, Filipinos were usually still paid below the US minimum wage, which was $0.75 per hour in 1950.63 This act of exploitation violated the 1947 labor agreement between the Philippines and the United States, which declared that “the terms of recruitment and the guarantee of return to the Philippines applies to all labor recruited in the Philippines either by the Army or Navy or by contractors under the jurisdiction by the Army or Navy.”64 In response to these allegations, the US military simply claimed that it was unaware of the low-wage issue and that the “work on Guam was being done by private contractors.”65 The US military’s complacency in regulating and enforcing workers’ wages and privileges underscored the notion that the military expansion of Guam trumped the protection of workers’ rights. Furthermore, this system also allowed the US military and its contractors to reduce employment costs. In turn, they justified paying the [End Page 823] lowest wages to Filipinos, since they were categorized as “alien” immigrants. Since Chamorros had to be paid more than Filipinos, fewer of them were hired, while Filipinos could be paid the least and were more amenable to labor discipline, since they could be deported. Even though white Americans could also be deported, their investment in working on Guam was dissimilar from that of Filipinos. Since working on Guam represented economic and political mobility, Filipino workers had a greater investment in keeping their jobs than did white Americans, who saw work on Guam as temporary and transitional. While workplace conditions were a source of tension, life in company camps was a positive and negative focal point of their lives on Guam.

Company Camp Life

For Filipinos and white Americans, company camps were the center of their social lives. There were several company camps, including Camp Asan, Camp Edusa, Camp Marbo, and Camp Magsaysay, which were scattered throughout the island. However, the largest company camps were LUSTEVECO’s Camp Roxas (initially named Camp Carter) and BPM’s Camp #1, Camp #2, and Camp Quezon.66 Filipino workers employed by LUSTEVECO lived in Camp Roxas, which was near the present-day southern villages of Agat and Santa Rita. Since they had both Filipino and white workers, BPM housed their laborers in segregated company camps. In the village of Mangilao, Filipinos lived in Camp Quezon, while white Americans lived in Camp #1 and Camp #2. All three camps were located in the area that now houses the University of Guam. BPM’s segregated camp facilities exemplified the company’s reliance on Jim Crow prejudices and sensibilities. This racial logic of white supremacy was perpetuated not only through racial segregation but also through white minstrel shows for residents in all three BPM camps. The two white American actors for this performance provided a sample of their dialogue as advertisement of the show in the Constructionaire newsletter:

Rastus, why fouh your be so happy? Well Rufus, Monday night we’s all gwana have a lot ob fun wid dem folks out front. Yeah, dat’s all true an’ deys gwana enjoy it too, I think. Dat is if dey goes along wid our stuff an’ takes it in de proper spirit. Yeah, Rufus, an’ if dey don’t, git ready to duck ‘cause deys no reefer ship in an’ dey’ll be throwin’ coconuts. Come on now, make wid de big smile fouh all de folks out dere, ‘cause dis aint no good sample ob our show di’logue.67

This dialogue demonstrates that white American workers who subscribed to white supremacy transplanted this ideology to Guam. However, this performance [End Page 824] was also for the Filipino workers of Camp Quezon, which suggests that some white Americans were willing to incorporate Filipinos into their antiblack sentiment. The few white American female workers employed by BPM and LUSTEVECO also resided in company camps. However, they lived in separate quarters in different parts of the camp. All these camps had facilities such as baseball fields, basketball courts, bowling alleys, chapels, churches, clothing stores, mess halls, and movie theaters.68 For white Americans and Filipinos, sporting events were one of the few social opportunities for interracial interactions outside work. For employers, these facilities provided the opportunity to promote welfare capitalism through leisure.

BPM, LUSTEVECO, and other contractors used welfare capital activities to limit worker discontent and labor protest. According to the historian Sanford M. Jacoby, welfare capitalism is a strategy to “inhibit the growth of unions and government.”69 Specifically, employers used intramural and company sports teams to advance welfare capital activities. For example, Camp Roxas and BPM’s camps all had baseball, basketball, bowling, and volleyball teams.70 These and other sports teams were intended to generate company loyalty and camaraderie, and they were also believed to keep workers in good physical condition. In her study on Chicago industrial workers of the early twentieth century, Lizabeth Cohen argues that industrialists believed that sports could distract laborers from “indulging in the ‘drinking, gambling and brawling’ so common in working-class ethnic communities—and so disruptive of good work habits.”71 This was also the case in Guam as the MASDELCO Warriors was a basketball team that represented Camp Roxas.72 This team and others engaged in camp leagues that tried to distract Filipinos from their daily work-related hardships as well as promote camaraderie among laborers and spectators alike. Basketball teams commonly nominated a Filipina nurse who worked in the same camp to symbolically serve as a “team muse” who attended the games to inspire the players’ performance. These sports teams competed not only within camps but also against other company camps, thereby encouraging workers to think of themselves as representatives of their companies. While sports represented one tactic in advancing welfare capitalism, employers also used leisure activities and social gatherings as another more insidious form of control.

Filipinos and white Americans participated in numerous social activities such as beach parties, bingo game nights, church services, dances, and holiday parades.73 While it appears that workers initiated these activities, the reality was that their employers provided the facilities to hold these events. Furthermore, contractors required all their workers to obtain police clearances if they wanted to participate in recreational activities and social gatherings outside [End Page 825] their respective camps.74 One of the most common activities was beach parties. In particular, one beach became synonymous with Filipino workers, which was nicknamed Rizal Beach in honor of the Filipino nationalist Jose Rizal. Places like Rizal Beach were supposed to be sources of comfort, even though the companies viewed these sites and activities as profit-driven measures. However, even these social outlet opportunities were not enough to distract workers from the poor conditions of company camps on the island.

Both Filipino and white American workers complained about the poor living conditions of company camps. A naval medical officer, R. W. Jones, reported on the Filipino quarters at Camp Asan. He stated, “The cleanliness and sanitary condition of sleeping quarters is very unsatisfactory. A general field day is badly needed. Bunks need clean linen and the loose gear that is adrift should be stowed. Clothes are being dried in sleeping quarters.”75 These conditions were not isolated occurrences. At Camp Roxas, Filipino laborers also complained about the Quonset huts that they lived in.76 Contractors relied on Quonset huts because they were cheap to build and could house eight to twelve people depending on the length of the buildings. These structures usually had an exterior made of sheet metal and a foundation made of wood planks. Thus these structures were a perfect conductor for the hot and humid weather on Guam. L. Eugene Wolfe was an officer with the US Industrial Relations and recorded his observations of Quonset huts at Camp Piti: “Frequent rains, combined with gusty winds, tend to make these relatively unprotected types of building virtually uninhabitable. These structures are partially open at either end and except for a four foot strip on both sides under the eaves, everything in them is subject to not only the high humidity of the island but the actual wetting form blown rain during the rainy season.”77 Wolfe’s description underscores the poor conditions that some workers endured on Guam. Another point of contention was the poor quality of food. In August 1949 the civilian worker Dorothea Minor Baker wrote a letter to the governor of Guam, C. A. Pownall, describing the inadequate mess hall conditions at Camp Asan. Baker claimed:

As there are not adequate luncheon facilities for those of us who work at NAS Agaña, we must eat in the morning. This necessitates standing in line, often in inclement weather, and eating rapidly, without pleasure, in order that we may take a 7:00 [a.m.] bus. Many of us, after spending several minutes in line, turn dejectedly away from the heavy, colorless, unappetizing food and work eight hours without nourishment. There are those who have lost from ten to thirty pounds in weight; those who eat and those who don’t because in either instance, the food has no value.78 [End Page 826]

Baker’s comments underscore that even for white American workers, food quality in company camps was considered disgusting. However, the most telling part of her letter was her indirect critique of the regimented schedule, which was also a major complaint of other workers at Camp Roxas.

A daily regimented schedule was another frustrating issue for laborers on Guam. As the LUSTEVECO worker Consul Umayan stated, “There is a tight curfew at all camps, with lights out at eleven p.m. and a bed check at one a.m.” He continued, “There is too much discipline … if the men are not there when a bed check is made they get one disciplinary check against them. Four such points are cause for dismissal. That’s not good for morale.”79 This strictly enforced work schedule, combined with poor housing and unappetizing food options, forced Umayan to leave Guam. The white American laborer Louie Levine was an electrician who also resigned his position and returned to the United States because of “unsatisfactory living conditions.”80 Levine’s and Umayan’s actions demonstrated that some workers did not accept their living conditions and opted to move on to other positions or to return home rather than endure working for their contractors and living in company camps. Even though private contractors tried to provide facilities and recreational opportunities to limit worker discontent, the frustrations over work and life in camps sometimes resulted in violent encounters.

The potential for violence was something that concerned all camp residents. On March 14, 1949, George Anderson, a resident at Camp Asan, was awakened at 1:00 a.m. He recalled:

My wife awakened me with the statement that someone had been peering through the window. Upon investigating, I noticed an individual walking rapidly away from the building at an estimated 100 feet away. Two other couples had also been aroused by the prowler, but were unable to apprehend him. I had just begun to drowse when I was again awakened approximately one hour later by footsteps outside my window. Arising in bed, I noticed through the ventilating louvers the figure of a man creeping below the window level. I investigated and found him peering through the window of the adjoining room. … I went to the front door of the quarters and noticed a dark complexioned individual walking rapidly about 30 feet away.81

While Anderson was unable to apprehend this “dark complexioned” individual, his experience showed how company camps became a source of fear because of the potential violence that could occur.

Sexual violence was another concern in the camps. On January 31, 1952, the US military reported an encounter between the civilian military worker Melvin Hollen and the US sailor Keonard Koon. According to the investigation, [End Page 827] Hollen and Koon had met while Hollen and a group of men were bar hopping. All these men returned to Camp Asan. Hollen reportedly

went to his room alone. He left the door unlocked. He turned and saw that the sailor, Mr. Koon, had entered the room behind him and was taking off his pants. At this point, Mr. Hollen claimed that he was fully clothed. Mr. Koon pushed him down on the bed and climbed on top of him. Mr. Hollen struggled but Mr. Koon hit him in the eye, knocking one lens out of his glasses, then clamped his arms to his side. Mr. Koon then tried to force him into a lewd act of a homosexual nature. Mr. Hollen called for help and this frightened Mr. Koon so that he stood up and started dressing.82

While the exact facts of this encounter will never be known, this incident between Hollen and Koon was one of several cases that involved sexually based violence that involved not only men but also women. In response to these and other violent encounters, Filipinos and white Americans armed themselves with various weapons, which the military perceived differently depending on the racial group.

It was common for white American workers to own firearms while living on Guam. As the naval officer A. J. Carrillo claimed, “It is common knowledge that practically everyone, in most of the housing areas, and particular Base 18 have in their possession firearms, this is apparent as, when leaving the island for the states they are left behind, in drawers, and under beds. They are all aware however of the existing orders prohibiting the possession of [guns], but [they] will not come forward and use the proper channels to keep them.”83 Carrillo’s report indicated that military and company camp officials condoned the possession of firearms without proper registration, but did little to resolve this issue. In contrast, military officials knew that Filipino workers at Camp Roxas also owned firearms and weapons, but had a different response to their possession of weapons. In February 1950 US military officials sent a detachment of 484 marines and sailors to search Camp Roxas for weapons and firearms. According to the Guam News, “1,500 out of the 3,000 Filipino residents of Roxas had a weapon of some sort taken away.”84 The article continued, “Some of the weapons [included] were nine pistols, seven rifles, blackjacks, brass knuckles, pneumatic drills filed to a sharp point, thousands of knives of all descriptions, scissors, cutlasses, razors, hatchets, files, machetes, butcher cleavers, bayonets, dynamite, air and pistol rifles, and many others.”85 These two incidents show that Filipino workers were criminalized for owning firearms and weapons, in contrast to the military’s condoning of white American weapon ownership. In addition, many of the confiscated items were also tools that construction workers commonly used such as knives, razors, hatchets, files, and machetes. [End Page 828] This mistreatment of Filipinos resulted in worker discontent and the opening of the Philippine consulate in Guam.

Worker Discontent and the Philippine Consulate in Guam

Deportation was the primary way that the US military and its contractors dealt with Filipinos and white Americans who resisted labor discipline. For example, in May 1955, 227 Filipino workers of LUSTEVECO were deported to the Philippines because they refused to sign individual employment contracts. These workers had come to Guam on a collective contract between LUSTEVECO and the Consolidated Labor Union of the Philippines (CLUP), an organization that represented these workers.86 Since the CLUP had been suspended, the US Navy required these workers to sign new individual contracts. This concerned the laborers because they had feared that these new contracts would eliminate their overseas bonus, which LUSTEVECO had promised to them. This authority, coupled with the expendability of Filipino workers, made labor activism and advocacy difficult. In addition, the US military had a stringent policy that required all contractors to deport Filipino laborers before “the third anniversary of their arrival on Guam” and whenever they attempted to change their nationality through naturalization or intermarriage with Chamorros.87 Even though Filipino workers were supposed to be repatriated after three years of employment, a significant portion of Filipinos permanently settled on Guam through intermarriage with Chamorros or contractor oversight in sending workers back to the Philippines. Moreover, the military had claimed its repatriation policy was a way to protect the employment rights of Chamorros, but in reality it was predicated on the belief that some Filipinos were potential communists and consequently represented a national security threat. At any point, Filipinos and white Americans could be deported, which made labor protests and unionization difficult because of the potential for deportation. Since the Cold War was an era of anticommunist thought in the United States, the visceral reaction to categorize labor activism as communist activity was common. As a result, very few attempts were made to organize labor unions on Guam during the 1940s and 1950s. During the late 1940s, these flagrant violations showed the officials from the Republic of the Philippines that Filipinos were being egregiously disciplined in connection to their employment as civilian military workers. In response, the Republic of the Philippines created a consulate on Guam to support their workers and to protect their remittances.

Established in 1952, the consulate advised Filipino laborers on issues such as the nonpayment of wages, excessive working hours, overtime work without [End Page 829] corresponding pay, inadequate living quarters and food, unsanitary conditions of toilet and bath facilities, the threat of deportation, and intraracial violence. These were all factors that threatened Filipino worker productivity.88 The consul also reported that Filipino workers made outlandish requests such as the following:

A Filipino in cell-detention for a misdemeanor charge asks that his fine be paid by the consulate; or a Filipino who has lost his entire pay in gambling session wants financial help to carry him through his next payday; or a Filipino indicted for embezzlement wants to have each and every Filipino in the island to contribute, through the consulate, to raise the money found short in his employer’s accounts; or a Filipino who imposes on the consul to make representations in his behalf for a better position; or a telephone call put through to the consul’s residence from a Filipino who is evidently under the influence of liquor, wanting to be met in the middle of the night at an undefined place before he commits murder; or why a certain Filipino was not invited to this or that affair sponsored by the consulate.89

The Philippine state was not only invested in protecting workers’ rights but also attempted to address their various concerns. However, the Republic of the Philippines did not support workers solely as an act of benevolence. The state served as advocates and allies of its workers in order to safeguard the remittances that Filipinos sent back to their relatives in the Philippines. These remittances were an important source of revenue that helped stimulate the Philippine economy in the 1940s and 1950s. As the sociologist Robyn Rodriguez contends, the Philippine government is a “labor brokerage state” that sends its citizens abroad for work while generating a “profit” from the remittances that migrants send back to friends and family in the Philippines.90 According to her, this system is predicated on institutions such as the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to facilitate the preparation and migration of Filipino workers. Rodriguez’s argument can be extrapolated and applied to Guam based on the Philippine government’s advocacy of its workers via the Philippine consulate on Guam, which attempted to protect Filipino laborers and address any issues no matter how outrageous the request.


The history of Filipino civilian military laborers in Guam elucidates the connection between empire, labor, and race among racialized and ethnically separated groups on Guam. The US military’s construction of buildings, installations, and roads throughout the island was predicated on a hierarchical labor system that exploited Filipinos based on their race and nationality [End Page 830] while marginalizing Chamorros and privileging white Americans. This racially stratified labor system persisted throughout the 1940s and 1950s. However, by the late 1950s, this system began to change when the majority of white Americans returned to the continental United States. By the early 1960s the civilian military labor system underwent further transition with the end of the military security clearance program. The termination of this program resulted in the influx of various Asians and Pacific Islanders to Guam. Furthermore, the damage wrought by Typhoon Karen in 1962 and the government of Guam’s emphasis on tourism resulted in service industry job creation and construction jobs geared to repairing the island and building American-style homes, which contributed to the suburbanization of the island.

In 1972 the civilian military labor system ended with the closing of Camp Roxas, which was the largest and final company camp to close on Guam. For many Filipinos, Guam became their new home. Instead of returning to the Philippines, many of them obtained permanent residency status or US citizenship, which allowed them to remain on Guam. This, coupled with the Immigration Act of 1965, permitted Filipinos on the island to sponsor their family members living in the Philippines to Guam. These rapid demographic changes help explain why Filipinos are currently the second-largest racial group on the island. Thus the foundation for Guam’s Filipino population today is rooted in the legacy of militarization.

Alfred Peredo Flores

Alfred Peredo Flores is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. His specialization is twentieth-century US history with an emphasis on US Empire, indigeneity, labor, and race/ethnicity, and the United States in the World. He is also a cofounding member of the UCLA Graduate Coalition of the Native Pacific.


I would like to thank the UC Center for New Racial Studies, the UCLA Institute of American Cultures, the UCLA American Indian Studies Center, the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, and the UCLA Graduate Division for providing me with research grants to complete this project. In addition, I would also like to thank Juliann Anesi, Keith L. Camacho, Jean-Paul deGuzman, Robin Derby, Frank T. Higbie, Valerie Matsumoto, MyLinh Nguyen, Brandon Reilly, Jenna Sablan, José Luis Serrano Nájera, and Joyce Pualani Warren for providing me with comments on this essay. Thanks also go to Paula Dragosh, Anne Hattori, Paul Lyons, Stacy Nojima, and Ty Kāwika Tengan for their suggestions throughout the revision process. Moreover, thank you to Michael Lujan Bevacqua, Kimberlee S. Kihleng, Leiana Naholowa‘a, and Bernie Provido Schumann for their intellectual support that made this essay possible. Finally, thank you to the Camp Roxas Film Project, Robert Glass, the Guam Humanities Council, the Nieves M. Flores Memorial Library, Nathaniel Patch, and the University of Guam’s Richard F. Taitano Micronesian Area Research Center for their research assistance.

1. “Donald Marshall transcript,” Under the American Sun, html (accessed December 15, 2014).

2. For more on Filipino plantation laborers in Hawai‘i, see JoAnna Poblete, Islanders in the Empire: Filipino and Puerto Rican Laborers in Hawai‘i (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2014); and Ronald Takaki, Pau Hana: Plantation Life and Labor in Hawaii, 1835–1920 (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1983). [End Page 831]

3. For more on the Filipinos of Guam, see Vicente M. Diaz, “Bye Bye Ms. American Pie: The Historical Relations between Chamorros and Filipinos and the American Dream,” ISLA: A Journal of Micronesian Studies 3.1 (1995): 147–60; and Bruce L. Campbell, “The Filipino Community of Guam, 1945–1975” (master’s thesis, University of Hawai‘i, 1987).

4. T. Fujitani, Race for Empire: Koreans as Japanese and Japanese as Americans during World War II (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011), 25.

5. Robert F. Rogers, Destiny’s Landfall: A History of Guam (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1995), 217–18.

6. Paul Carano and Pedro C. Sanchez, A Complete History of Guam (Rutland, VT: Charles E. Tuttle, 1966), 329; Vicente M. Diaz, “‘Fight Boys, til the Last …’: Islandstyle Football and the Remasculinization of Indigeneity in the Militarized American Pacific Islands,” in Pacific Diaspora: Island Peoples in the United States and across the Pacific, ed. Paul Spickard, Joanne L. Rondilla, and Debbie Hippolite Wright (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2002), 175; and Rogers, Destiny’s Landfall, 217.

7. For more on the Micronesian experience during World War II, see Suzanne Falgout, Lin Poyer, and Laurence M. Carucci, Memories of War: Micronesians in the Pacific War (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2008).

8. Ibid., 189, 197. Initially, Chamorros were forced to clear these fields under Japanese occupation during World War II. The Japanese military used them as airfields during World War II, until the US military recaptured the island and had the airfields paved.

9. Office of Naval Intelligence, “Strategic Study of Guam ONI-99,” February 1, 1944, Guam Room, Nieves M. Flores Memorial Library, Hagåtña, Guam, p. 288. Hereafter cited as NMF.

10. Victor F. Bleasdale, “Monthly Report,” March 1, 1946, RG 313, US National Archives, College Park, MD. Hereafter cited as NA, College Park.

11. For more on pre–World War II US colonial education on Guam, see Anne Perez Hattori, Colonial Dis-Ease: U.S. Navy Health Policies and the Chamorros of Guam, 1898–1941 (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2004); and Robert Anacletus Underwood, “American Education and the Acculturation of the Chamorros of Guam” (PhD diss., University of Southern California, 1987).

12. For more on Chamorro nurses, see Christine T. DeLisle, “‘Tumuge’ Påpa’ (Writing It Down): Chamorro Midwives and the Delivery of Native History,” Pacific Studies 30.1–2 (2007); and Hattori, Colonial Dis-Ease.

13. David Hanlon, Remaking Micronesia: Discourses over Development in a Pacific Territory, 1944–1982 (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1998), 41. For more on Western and indigenous notions of time, see Frederick Cooper, Colonialism in Question: Theory, Knowledge, History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005); and Vine Deloria Jr., God Is Red: A Native View of Religion (Golden, CO: Fulcrum, 1992).

14. “Domestics—Employment of,” September 4, 1944, RG 313, US National Archives, San Bruno, California. Hereafter cited as NA, San Bruno.

15. Rogers, Destiny’s Landfall, 194.

16. J. M. Arthur, “Memorandum: Prisoner of War Labor, Availability of,” September 11, 1945, RG 313, NA, San Bruno.

17. D. D. Gurley, “POW Labor—Request for,” November 3, 1945, RG 313, NA, San Bruno.

18. “Many Japs on Guam Are Still in Hiding,” Christian Science Monitor, February 18, 1946, Vertical File, NMF.

19. L. D. Herrle, “Augmentation of Native Labor on Guam for Employment by the Navy,” March 4, 1946, RG 313, NA, College Park.

20. For more on the perceptions of Chinese workers in the nineteenth century, see Sucheng Chan, Asian Americans: An Interpretative History (New York: Twayne, 1991); Alexander Saxton, Indispensable Enemy: Labor and the Anti-Chinese Movement in California (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975); and Ronald Takaki, Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans (Boston: Back Bay Books, 1998).

21. Michael H. Hunt, The American Ascendancy: How the United States Gained and Wielded Global Dominance (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007), 132.

22. For more on US military installations and bases that have relied on the use of international workers and companies, see Julie Greene, The Canal Builders: Making America’s Empire at the Panama Canal (New York: Penguin, 2009); David Vine, Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base [End Page 832] on Diego Garcia (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009); and Katherine T. McCaffrey, Military Power and Popular Protest: The U.S. Navy in Vieques, Puerto Rico (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2002).

23. Republic of the Philippines, “Exchange of Notes Constituting an Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America,” May 1947, Department of Foreign Affairs Archives. Hereafter cited as “Exchange of Notes.”

24. Ibid. The current exchange rate is one US dollar to forty-three Philippine pesos, which means fifteen centavos is less than one cent.

25. COMNAVMARIANAS, “Filipinos on Guam,” January 1956, RG 38, NA, College Park.

26. In the mid-1950s, Marianas Stevedoring (MASDELCO) became a subsidiary company of LUSTEVECO on Guam. Thus some people on Guam refer to the company as Luzon Stevedoring or Marianas Stevedoring/MASDELCO.

27. Time, “Philippines: Barging Ahead,” August 25, 1967,,9171,841076,00.html.

28. Other military contractors included Guam Dredging Company, J. H. Pomery Company, Pacific Islands Engineers, Perez Brothers, and the Vinnell Corporation.

29. Manila Times, “Filipino Employe[e]s of US Navy at Guam Contented, Says Union Chief,” February 6, 1947, Lopez Museum and Library, Pasig City, Philippines.

30. Morris W. Kellogg founded the M. W. Kellogg Company. By the early 1920s it had become one of the nation’s leading engineering firms with specializations in chemicals, refining, and technology, which resulted in the acquisition of several state and federal government contracts and included ties to the Manhattan Project of World War II. Dan Root and Herman Brown founded the Brown and Root Company, based out of Texas, which also won several state and federal contracts. By the early 1940s it had become known for constructing dams, pipelines, and roads. This engineering company is now more familiar as Kellogg, Brown, and Root. For more on the M. W. Kellogg Company, see KBR, “History of KBR,” (accessed May 19, 2014); and Texas State Historical Association, “Brown, Herman,” (accessed May 19, 2014).

31. KBR, “History of KBR.”

32. These uneven hiring practices continued until the 1980s, which resulted in several investigations of private construction companies on Guam for their preference to hire H-2 workers over local workers on the island.

33. Even though racially segregated schools and hospitals existed in pre–World War II Guam, this was one of the earliest moments in which a large private company such as BPM was permitted to perpetuate racial segregation on the island.

34. Eugene Morgan, So You Want to Go to Guam (New York: Vantage, 1951), 84.

35. US House Sub-Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, December 1, 1954, VF 2nd GL Public Hearing, Vertical File, NMF.

36. Guam Humanities Council, A Journey Home: Camp Roxas and Filipino American History in Guam (Hagåtña: Guam Humanities Council, 2009), 4.

37. Jorge V. Sibal, ed., Changes and Challenges: Sixty Years of Struggles towards Decent Work (Diliman: University of the Philippines, 2008), 2. For more on the economic and labor organizing of Iloilo, see Henry Florida, Iloilo in the Twentieth Century: An Economic History (Iloilo City: University of the Philippines, 1997), 78.

38. From the late 1940s to 1962 the island of Guam was under a security clearance program that required all people entering or leaving Guam to obtain permission from the naval command. The program lasted until 1962.

39. Gorgonio Cabot, interview by author, April 22, 2013.

40. Jana K. Lipman, Guantanamo: A Working-Class History between Empire and Revolution (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009), 39.

41. C. A. Pownall, “Rules and Regulations for Labor Contracts,” October 14, 1946, RG 313, NA, San Bruno.

42. Ibid.

43. Ibid. [End Page 833]

44. Catherine Ceniza Choy, Empire of Care: Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003), 21. For more on American colonial perceptions of Filipinos during the early twentieth century, see Warwick Anderson, Colonial Pathologies: American Tropical Medicine, Race, Hygiene in the Philippines (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006).

45. J. N. Myers, “Examination of Native Civilians for Employment,” July 31, 1946, RG 313, NA, San Bruno. For more on US military perceptions of Chamorro health and sanitation, see Hattori, Colonial Dis-Ease.

46. The need for Filipino workers on Guam was urgent enough that some Filipinos worked in the underground economy of immigrant smuggling. The Manila Times reported that a ring of smugglers had been sneaking Filipinos into Guam via military air transport and US ships. These smugglers received $30 to $100 for transportation and an additional $20 to $50 monthly during their residency on the island. The creation of this underground immigration industry demonstrates that the recruitment of Filipinos was in high demand and that the documented process to obtain admittance into Guam was difficult. See Manila Times, “Guam Smuggling Ring Broken Up,” June 9, 1950, Lopez Museum and Library, Pasig City, Philippines. Hereafter cited as LML.

47. Guam Humanities Council, Journey Home, 21.

48. Ibid.

49. Ibid.

50. Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, “Asian Immigrant Women and Global Restructuring, 1970s–1990s,” in Asian/Pacific Islander American Women: A Historical Anthology, ed. Shirley Hune and Gail M. Nomura (New York: New York University Press, 2003), 272.

51. Delfina Cataluna and Pilar Malilay, interview with Bernie Provido Schumann and Burt Sardoma Jr., May 28, 2009. Interview is courtesy of Under the American Sun, the Camp Roxas film project.

52. For more on American notions of race and slavery in the Asia–Pacific region, see Alfred W. McCoy and Francisco Scarano, eds., Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009); Paul A. Kramer, The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States, and the Philippines (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006); and Michael Salman, The Embarrassment of Slavery: Controversies over Bondage and Nationalism in the American Colonial Philippines (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001).

53. US Civil Service Commission, “Application for Federal Employment,” July 26, 1947, RG 313, NA, San Bruno.

54. Rogers, Destiny’s Landfall, 217.

55. Morgan, So You Want to Go to Guam, 12.

56. Cabot, interview.

57. Manila Times, “Two Filipino Workers on Interred,” January 21, 1948, LML.

58. Daily Mirror, “Filipino Electrician Dies in Guam Mishap,” June 26, 1959, LML.

59. J. B. Dunn, “Out-Patient Treatments of Civilian Employees to Brown Pacific Maxon Co,” August 2, 1947, RG 313, NA, San Bruno; Dunn, “Out-Patient Treatments of Civilian Employees to Brown Pacific Maxon Co.,” July 7, 1947, RG 313, NA, San Bruno; and Dunn, “Out-Patient Treatments of Civilian Employees to Brown Pacific Maxon Co.,” June 5, 1947, RG 313, NA, San Bruno.

60. V. Williams, “Additional Press Articles on Alleged Exploitation of Philippine Laborers in Guam,” April 1, 1954, RG 85, NA, College Park, p. 2.

61. Paul Carano and Pedro Sanchez, A Complete History of Guam (Rutland, VT: Charles E. Tuttle, 1966), 328.

62. Williams, “Additional Press Articles,” 2.

63. US Department of Labor, (accessed June 10, 2014).

64. “Exchange of Notes.”

65. “Disclaim Guam Wage Discrimination,” Manila Times, January 28, 1948, LML.

66. I reference BPM Camp #1, Camp #2, and Camp Quezon together as “BPM camps.”

67. Hugh Carey, ed., Constructionaire, October 31, 1951; and Carey, ed., Constructionaire, November 3, 1951.

68. Guam Humanities Council, Journey Home, 13.

69. Sanford M. Jacoby, Modern Manors: Welfare Capitalism since the New Deal (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997), 4. Welfare capitalism had its origins in Europe, and by the nineteenth century it became a major corporate strategy in the United States. Besides deterring the growth of unions and [End Page 834] government, it was also a paternalistic relationship in which corporate executives and owners believed that they were obligated to take care of their employees in return for maximum worker efficiency.

70. Brown-Pacific-Maxon, Constructionaire, November 22, 1950.

71. Lizabeth Cohen, Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919–1939 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 176–77.

72. Guam Humanities Council, Journey Home, 19.

73. Brown-Pacific-Maxon, Constructionaire, September 23, 1950; and Guam Humanities Council, Journey Home, 14–18.

74. Guam Humanities Council, Journey Home, 12.

75. R. W. Jones, “Weekly Sanitation Report,” October 10, 1949, RG 313, NA, San Bruno.

76. Guam Humanities Council, Journey Home, 10.

77. L. Eugene Wolfe, “Report of Field Trip to Pacific Islands,” October 31, 1947, RG 313, NA, San Bruno.

78. Dorothea Minor Baker to Governor C. A. Pownall, August 10, 1949, RG 313, NA, San Bruno.

79. Sid White, “Disparity in Pay Cited: Failure of Gov’t to Secure Better Conditions Scored,” Manila Times, September 10, 1956, LML.

80. H. V. Hopkins, “Louie Levine, Resignation of,” December 16, 1948, RG 313, NA, San Bruno.

81. L. E. Schmidt, “Security at Camp Asan,” March 14, 1949, RG 313, NA, San Bruno.

82. E. D. Hubbell, “Incident Involving Melvin Hollen, Civil Service Employee; Investigation of,” January 31, 1952, RG 313, NA, San Bruno.

83. A. J. Carrillo, “Security of Our Housing Areas, Report on,” June 3, 1949, RG 313, NA, San Bruno.

84. Guam News, “Guam Police List Weapons, Drugs Found at Roxas,” February 7, 1950, RG 126, NA, College Park.

85. Ibid.

86. “Guam Filipinos Refuse Contracts, Sent Home,” Daily Mirror, March 17, 1955, LML.

87. E. F. Van Buskirk Jr., “Entry, Re-Entry, Repatriation and Deportation of Filipinos,” January 16, 1958, RG 38, NA, College Park.

88. Victorino P. Paredes, “Consulate of the Philippines,” May 12, 1958, National Library of the Philippines, Manila.

89. Ibid.

90. Robyn Magalit Rodriguez, Migrants for Export: How the Philippine State Brokers Labor to the World (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010), x. [End Page 835]

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