PH govt looking to assist airfare of affected Dynasty workers

Staff of Rep. Edwin K. Propst helped bring donations to former Tinian Dynasty Hotel Casino employees at the docks in Lower Base yesterday. The donated goods will be brought to Tinian by SN-5 Shipping Company. (Contributed Photo)

Staff of Rep. Edwin K. Propst helped bring donations to former Tinian Dynasty Hotel Casino employees at the docks in Lower Base yesterday. The donated goods will be brought to Tinian by SN-5 Shipping Company. (Contributed Photo)

The Philippine honorary consul to the CNMI said yesterday that the dozens of Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino employees without power and on rationed food are “status-less” and have not been paid money by their hotel employer for the last eight payrolls.

Honorary consul Glicerio Arago says they met with about of 50 of about more than a hundred of these Filipino employees last Saturday to “calm down our kababayans or countrymen” after the Commonwealth Utilities Corp., who is owed around $1.3 million by TDHC, cut power to the hotel barracks on Friday.

Arago encourages the employees, given their dire circumstances, to leave home to the Philippines.

“I know some of them don’t want to leave because they have kids here. And others they want to wait for the liquidated damages and back wages that they are supposed to receive—but there is no definite schedule yet when the money can be released. So that is one of the problems.”

“We are arranging their airfare—either through help of the Philippine government or” the new investor in the Dynasty hotel, Hong Kong Entertainment.

“…we are waiting for a list for those who would be willing to leave,” Arago added.

Power in their housing units have been shut down and the current fuel for the generator is only good for a week since CUC power was cut off last Friday, Arago said.

And according to the barracks caretaker, he added, they have one month supply of meat but if there is no power, this sets food up to spoil.

“I told them that it’s really hard to wait when there is no definite timeframe, unless they can do something and get a job here. But the problem is—how can they get a job if they don’t have status? They really need to go home and apply. That’s what I told them.”

“Especially for those who really want to come back,” he went on to say. “If they can find an employer and go home and apply, I think they have a chance to come back.”

Arago says the affected employees have not have status since the end of 2014. Renewals were filed but denied by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the workers continued working at the Dynasty while their employer filed an appeal, he said.

Workers have informed Arago that there have been about eight payrolls missed for hotel employees.

He assures that if employees chose to go back to the Philippines they will be contacted if a settlement comes through on their owed money.

“Rest assured those back wages will be sent to the right party when the decisions comes or when there is final decision on the matter.”

Arago said he planning to visit Tinian again this Saturday. He said they’re soliciting from organizations, like the United Filipino Organization, and other stakeholders to contribute to the workers’ plight.

As this developed yesterday, community groups and businesses continued to donate goods for shipping to Tinian at the SN-5 Shipping Company in Lower Base.

Tinian Mayor Joey San Nicolas had written to the local Red Cross and The Salvation Army for much needed donations to assist the affected worker on Monday.

Rep. Edwin K. Propst’s (Ind-Saipan) office helped bring donations yesterday from organizations like CORE CNMI and other donations from the community, amounting to “two truckloads” of donations to the dock site at Lower Base.

The donations consisted mostly of hygiene items like water, toilet paper, and toothpaste, Propst said.

“We are still collecting,” Propst told Saipan Tribune yesterday. Propst can be reached at 287-7883.

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Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at dennis_chan@saipantribune.com.

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  • pafao

    If not mistaken, there is established a “common fund account” paid into by overseas filipino workers to be used in cases such as thCW situation on Tinian. So, Mr Glicero, please help those kababayans out by paying for their airfares to PI. Surely, you don’t want to prolong their agonies. I say thank you on behalf of this BANKRUPT/CORRUPTED government of greedy politicians.

  • Chamoru First!

    A crisis that could have been prevented. Personally as a christian i want to thank you for all for assisting and helping the foreign workers plight in the name of humanity. During these time of their hardship and sufferings, the Mayor of Tinian took the lead with a golden heart. Set political views aside and assist our fellow human beings on their way home, PI Consulate, i’ts your duty to save your people. They contributed so much remittance which your country have grossed from abroad. Dynasty should shoulder the cost in the first place or did they? Why is USCIS allowing the sufferings and displacement of these people. It’s kinda fishy though. Somehow, USCIS, Dynasty and the workers are all responsible for their predicament. Who encouraged this guys to stay behind when Dynasty closed. IRS swooped in for Money laundering. USCIS should have done that too.But then knowing that USCIS didn’t renew their permits and they are required to exit. Who harbored who, blames who and then we the CNMI people faces all these, get all the criticism and the blame when 80 percent of these outside forces affects us tremendously. So, we all pay for it, locals of course!

    • captain

      It was the local HR for Dynasty who wrote the letter for those employees to continue to keep reporting for work or they would be terminated (also they were owed back pay at that time) after their petition for renewal was denied. This was Tinian resident Florine Hoffsneider.
      THAT is why many are still here, that along with the contunueing downfall attributed to the Tinian Gaming Comm.

  • CAPT WTF

    PLEASE, TAKE YOUR “PARASITES” BACK HOME!!!!

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