BREAKING NEWS: Construction workers protest nonpayment of salary

They also claim ‘unacceptable’ living conditions in barracks

A protest is currently ongoing inside the Imperial Pacific Resort construction site in Garapan. The protest was first started by about 50 employees of MCC International, the construction company in charge of handling the construction of the resort. Most of the employees are believed to be illegal workers.

The employees claim that they have yet to be paid by MCC since last February and has stopped working at the resort as a sign of protest. Many of the protesters described their living conditions to CNMI Labor Secretary Edith DeLeon Guerrero, who was at the protest venue across I Love Saipan in Garapan, in front of MCC’s office building. DeLeon Guerrero said the living conditions of the employees were “unacceptable.” Rep. Ed Propst (Ind-Saipan) was present as well, giving out bread to the protesters.

The protest group then moved to the construction site and are currently still protesting. Since the protest’s relocation, the group has grown in size as workers who were currently working joined them as well.

MCC’s private lawyer, Mark Scoggins, was present as well and has been in discussion with DeLeon Guerrero. Scoggins declined to comment on pressing issues such as the withholding of employee passports and believes the issue of the protest was due to a delay in wages.

The protesters are demanding that MCC settlle all their unpaid salary before they leave the island. Most if not all of the protesters displayed an interest in going back to their home country given that their unpaid wages are settled before they leave.

The protesters are demanding that MCC settle all their unpaid salary before they leave the island. Most if not all of the protesters displayed an interest in going back to their home country given that their unpaid wages are settled before they leave.

IPI tells contractors to follow law
Imperial Pacific International, meanwhile, released a statement strongly reiterating that it does not condone the hiring and or employment of individuals by illegal means.

It requested all of its contractors and subcontractors to follow all local and federal labor and immigration laws and regulations in the conduct of its business, including and in particular, the hiring of construction workers.

Imperial Pacific also implores all of its contractors and subcontractors to faithfully follow and fulfill its contractual commitments and obligations to its workers and Imperial Pacific , and resolve all labor issues appropriately.

The company at the same time clarified that the peaceful gathering of MCC workers has to do with MCC and does not involve Imperial Pacific and that the concerns raised by said workers are now being addressed accordingly.More details to follow

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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