1-man protest near IPR worksite

Worker protests alleged non-payment, wage delays

Daniel Jake Kaipat, 28, a general laborer of AM Group, stages a lone protest yesterday over alleged non-payment of wages owed by Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC. (BEA CABRERA)

A worker of a contractor of Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC’s Imperial Pacific Resort project in Garapan staged a one-man protest yesterday over alleged non-payment of wages that he estimates at about $2,000.

Daniel Jake Kaipat, 28, a general laborer of AM Group, stood on a spot on Beach Road near Duty Free Shoppers and Imperial Pacific Resort and help up a banner that read “STILL HOPING TO GET PAID MR. SUE.”

It’s not clear whether Kaipat is referring to Su Hongtao, who is reportedly an adviser to the IPI board and an investor in another project on Saipan.

As of press time yesterday, Saipan Tribune was still awaiting comments from IPI.

Kaipat, who said he is a U.S. Army veteran, claimed that Sue is in charge of paying IPI’s contractor, AM Group, where he has worked since December 2019. Kaipat said Sue, however, has not paid for many of them.

“So half of us are actually working, and the other half are not. So I’m actually standing my ground for the people that are not working, which is including myself,” he said.

Kaipat said they have always experienced delayed paychecks and some check even bounced since the beginning of the furloughs last February or March.

“So it’s very difficult and stressful for a lot of us,” he said, adding that IPI does not have the financial stability to give them the money.

Kaipat said he worked last Saturday and then was allowed to work only four hours on each day last Sunday and Monday. He said he reported for work yesterday but was told to go home because Sue is not paying.

“He’s trying to shy away from it,” Kaipat said.

He said six to nine workers, including himself, are affected, while the others “are blessed” because they have jobs.

Kaipat claims to being electrocuted at the site last June but managed to continue working.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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