Labor probes new case of ‘tourist workers’

Labor Secretary Edith Deleon Guerrero said that her department has been collating more information about a new batch of “tourist workers” that also allege that they have yet to be paid.

Responding to an email inquiry by Saipan Tribune, Deleon Guerrero said that 27 of these workers have come forward to seek their help. Government and private groups, like the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs and Karidat, are helping take care of these workers.

“CNMI Labor is still working hard on the collection of accurate information and claims by the workers. There are numerous employer names mentioned by the workers and they are MCC [International], Beilida, Gold Mantis, and CMC Macau,” said Deleon Guerrero.

“There are monetary claims involved, hence our diligent work to capture all information accurately so that CNMI Labor will be able to narrow down what is owed and what is not,” she added.

Some of the workers claim that they worked for CMC Macau by installing the gaming tables and other furniture and fixtures on Saipan. CMC Macau is the newest employer name to come up. They are involved in supplying and installing gaming materials in casinos.

Deleon Guerrero said they also validating the whereabouts of all those involved in the current case that they are working on. “The workers that we had physical contact with have all their passports.”

“Likewise, we are also validating the physical presence of all 27 workers. Just this afternoon [Thursday], one worker is known to be back in China. However, the worker’s monetary claims is what’s before us, hence the need to conduct a thorough investigation.”
Conditional permit

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres welcomed the conditional certificate of occupancy issued by the Department of Public Works on Tuesday to Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC. The certificate gives the Saipan investor permission to start the operations of the casino component of Imperial Pacific Resort.

Torres said DPW, since construction began, made sure that the structure is done right by the contractor hired by IPI. “[DPW] made sure that there are no shortcuts or cutting corners on what needs to be done.”

“And if they [DPW] are to issue anything, they make sure that everything is covered. So, if they issued a temporary permit, then the work was done thoroughly. Those temporary permits still needs to be addressed according to the timeline.”

On Tuesday, DPW’s Building Safety Code Division finally released the conditional certificate after conducting almost daily inspections in order to guarantee the safety of the facility and that it does not pose any danger when people start occupy it.

The offices of the Commonwealth Casino Commission and casino (basement and levels 1 and 2), Tapochau Bar, grand lobby, and the casino floor are the occupied areas that are allowed.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez has been covering local and international sports events for more than 15 years. His sports writing career started when he joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, when he was in college.

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