Construction continues even with Pacific Rim workers out


The Imperial Pacific Resort and Casino’s façade in downtown Garapan. The project’s construction workers were placed on “temporary leave” after Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC and its main contractor, Pacific Rim Constructors, are said to be discussing a new agreement. (Erwin Encinares)

Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC will continue construction of its casino resort in Garapan even as employees of their contractor were placed on “temporary leave” from the project to discuss their contract.

Saipan Tribune confirmed yesterday that workers for Pacific Rim Constructors, a construction company based in Guam overseeing the construction of the Imperial Pacific Resort, were placed on “temporary leave” from the ongoing construction of the casino resort.

IPI, in a statement yesterday, maintained that construction would be ongoing even without the construction workers from Pacific Rim. They further noted that Pacific Rim temporarily pulled out their employees due to ongoing negotiations on their current contract.

“…Pacific Rim Constructors’ workers are placed on temporary leave from the Imperial Pacific Resort project site as it works on the changes of its current construction project contract with Imperial Pacific,” the HongKong-based company stated, adding that it is “optimistic” that changes to their contract with Pacific Rim will be resolved within a week.

“Imperial Pacific also assures everyone that the ongoing construction work will be uninterrupted, with Pacific Rim Constructors’ management and supervisory team overseeing the construction work,” the statement continued.

Saipan Tribune yesterday attempted to obtain a statement from Pacific Rim, however they did not respond to requests for inquiry.

In an interview, Casino Commission Edward Deleon Guerrero told Saipan Tribune 1,126 of the approved 1,542 H-2B visas for IPI would be utilized for the construction of the casino.

“…Based on what we are seeing in the contract between IPI and Pacific Rim was that the actual contract itself was for Pacific Rim to be taking over the management of the construction and not the general contractor,” clarified Deleon Guerrero.

“In this contract, IPI provides the 1,542 [workers] they have secured…from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Of those, 1,126 have arrived,” he continued.

Deleon Guerrero added that when Pacific Rim first entered the picture, they conducted a preliminary survey on the site. He said the construction company found that they would need their own manpower to be relocated to Saipan for the project.

“Since IPI has been bringing in the H-2B workers, those workers have been assigned to IPI projects and as that occurs, Pacific Rim is now cutting down on its Guam employees and its sub-contracts,” he said, clarifying that this was to his understanding.

Deleon Guerrero has been in and out of meetings with IPI executives all day long yesterday.

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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