A construction subcontractor that was hired to help build the Imperial Pacific Resort in Garapan has been slapped with a hefty fine after failing to meet requirements essential to renewing their service provider licenses.
The Commonwealth Casino Commission agreed to accept the stipulated resolution that imposes a $192,000 fine on Gold Mantis Construction Decoration (CNMI) LLC for failing to submit essential requirements previously agreed upon to extend its license.
The stipulated resolution, which both parties have agreed to, provides that Gold Mantis would submit within 60 days after their renewal date, which was last Aug. 8, 2017, the requirements and pay the fine to remain compliant with its license.
“They have not necessarily violated other provisions other than those,” said Casino Commission executive director Edward Deleon Guerrero.
According to Deleon Guerrero, those that wish to participate in the U.S. casino industry must first secure a license from the regulatory body for that jurisdiction, in this case the Commonwealth Casino Commission.
“It is our opinion that [Gold Mantis] has been proceeding with sincerity and they are doing their very best to comply with the required regulations. [The fine] only settles [the dispute] as we speak but it also allows them to correct some of the deficiencies. We would be visiting them again once they have submitted their application,” he said.
Tiberius Mocanu, representing Gold Mantis, said the construction company is diligently “moving forward transparently and in good faith.”
“Gold Mantis has every intention to be a good licensee and good corporate citizen here in the CNMI,” Mocanu said in yesterday’s meeting of the casino commission.
“Their issues with labor—both CNMI and federal—and with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are issues that are not related to us,” said Deleon Guerrero.
He added that Gold Mantis and the commission have an understanding throughout negotiations that the former must resolve their labor issues before the commission would move further with the construction companies’ license.
Mocanu said that Gold Mantis is the first company to have sent all of its foreign workers home after reaching a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor earlier this year.
He added that, of the 43 remaining workers, the six that claim to be Gold Mantis workers are not their employees.
“Gold Mantis did not admit that; however, all six were flown [back to China] last week,” said Mocanu. “Gold Mantis went out of its pocket even though it did not believe those workers were their workers, in an effort to get them home.”
According to Mocanu, the six were workers of the subcontractor of Gold Mantis.
“Since the DOL said the workers were [employees of Gold Mantis], Gold Mantis felt it necessary to do the right thing and sent them home last week,” he added.
The commission executive director said the fine would go into the general fund.
The commission unanimously confirmed the stipulated resolution during yesterday’s meeting.