Brown to look into employees’ claims, needs

Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC chair Mark Brown said he would check on the claims made by the workers who were recently laid-off by the company and look into their needs.

IPI laid off close to 160 of its CW employees, most of whom are working as casino dealers. It may, however, be too late since some of the employees have already left the island since early Thursday morning.

As of Wednesday, the employees claimed that they have not yet received their paychecks, which were supposed to be given two days before their flight, with some already scheduled to leave yesterday. More employees are expected to be sent home in the coming days.

Brown met with representatives of the group of workers last Saturday at Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan’s Chambre Bar. They said that Brown did not promise them anything, aside from saying that he would try his best to help their plight. They were also thankful for the gesture he made in meeting with them.

Brown returned to lead IPI last month and arrived on Saipan a few days after Super Typhoon Yutu ravaged the island and Tinian.

“We staged a protest because we want someone from top management to…answer some of our questions. He [Brown] was our last hope that could help us convince Mr. Ji [Xiaobo] and the owners to give us a proper severance pay and not just seven days,” said the representatives in a statement.

More than 50 of the laid-off employees staged an impromptu protest action last week in front of the construction site of the Imperial Pacific Resort.

“Mr. Brown was surprised when we told him that IPI did not help us after Super Typhoon Yutu and he arrived in the first week of November. But, the other issues and rumors were cleared. We just wanted a bit of an assurance that if things improved, those of us who still have valid CW permits could return to work again in the casino,” the employees said.

They said some of the workers had just been renewed while others still had 10 months left on their CW permits when they were laid off. “Hopefully, he could help turn our Christmas merry again…He is our last hope and a lot of us are wishing that something would happen.”

Other answers
They said that Brown explained to them that IPR was allowed by the local Department of Labor to lay off some employees after the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yutu.
He told them that the company could also not give out the 50 percent discretionary bonus since they are currently out of cash and, based on their contract, would only be given a severance pay of seven days.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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