CW issues affect IPI manpower


The Commonwealth Casino Commission affirmed yesterday that they have noticed a decline in employment at Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC.

According to commission executive director Edward Deleon Guerrero, IPI has been showing a slight decline in its manpower numbers as reported by the IPI Human Resources Department during the commission’s monthly meetings.

“But the decline in number was based primarily on CW problems,” Deleon Guerrero told Saipan Tribune.

CW stands for the CNMI-Only Transitional Worker program, the permit program for foreign workers in the CNMI.

“…The access to labor is not specific to IPI. It is endemic across the board,” he added.

Deleon Guerrero said the commission is planning to issue a public notice so that it will learn of U.S.-eligible workers who may have responded to a job vacancy announcement by IPI but were not entertained.

According to information obtained from IPI, the company back in 2015 launched a mass hiring initiative in the U.S. mainland and was able to recruit 270 employees at the expense of $1.5 million.

After Typhoon Soudelor struck, IPI spent an additional $500,000 to repatriate about 80 percent of the employees back to the U.S. mainland.

According to a statement from IPI, only 30 of the 270 employees recruited remain employed at IPI.

“IPI has been able to fill these positions with U.S. and non-U.S. citizens,” said the statement, adding that it now employs 44 percent U.S. eligible workers and 56 percent foreign workers.

“Despite spending years and millions of dollars on recruitment in the U.S. mainland, Puerto Rico, Guam, all throughout Micronesia, and the entire CNMI, we have not been able to reach this mandate,” reads the statement, referring to its Casino License Agreement mandate to employ 65 percent U.S. workers.

IPI statistics provides that the number of dealers at the casino is at 232 as of publication. In order to lessen the blow of the CW permit limitations, IPI said they continuously offer internal development programs as well as a dealer trainee program to “grow our staff” while coordinating with local institutions on dealer training.

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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