Ex-worker rues Edith’s exit

A former “tourist worker” of Gold Mantis Construction Decoration (CNMI) LLC that has already left the CNMI rued the resignation of former Labor secretary Edith DeLeon Guerrero.

Meng Yong Jun, one of 92 workers of Gold Mantis that has already been paid, arrived on Saipan as a tourist in mid-February this year and stopped working last April 12, 2017, because Gold Mantis declined to pay his salary.

In a letter to Saipan Tribune, Meng said bluntly, “Governor, you are wrong,” referring to why DeLeon Guerrero was unable to make their group leave the CNMI.

Meng wrote that their group did not leave the CNMI because they wished to be paid for their work. The group demanded that Gold Mantis first deposit their pay into their Chinese bank accounts before leaving the CNMI.

Meng also added their group is feeling remorse after learning that DeLeon Guerrero lost her job because of their actions.

“We want to take this opportunity to express our apologies to her. We don’t want her to lose her job because of our mistakes,” Meng wrote in his letter.

‘Gold Mantis cannot be trusted’

In his letter, Meng told the 35 workers left behind on Saipan to “make sure [you] get your money before you return to China.”

The group last held a protest on June 1, 2017. The protest was composed of 35 workers involved with four companies: Gold Mantis, MCC International, CMC Macau, and Beilida Overseas (CNMI) Ltd. The workers have all expressed dissatisfaction after the companies failed to pay them any form of compensation, including a salary that complies with CNMI law and compensation for work-related injuries.

“Within our group are several injured workers,” Meng said in his letter. Meng himself allegedly sustained burns when he was still working for Golden Mantis.

“When we were at the Saipan International Airport, just before departure, one American lawyer and one Chinese lawyer promised the injured workers that Gold Mantis would send representatives to the airport to meet with us,” he said, but when they arrived at the airport in China, no representatives were present.

According to the letter, the injured workers have yet to receive compensation for injuries sustained while working under Gold Mantis.

“We hope the [other] workers are able to get their wages and are able to go back home to China to reunite with their families,” he said.

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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