IPI furloughs more employees


Because of its financially precarious situation due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC has been forced to furlough more employees.

In response to Saipan Tribune’s request for updated information about the Department of Public Works’ order to stop construction work, IPI chief executive officer Donald Browne said yesterday that they are still trying to resolve the dispute with their consultant engineers. He said everything is ready to be submitted to DPW once the dispute is over.

When asked how many more employees have been furloughed, Browne said he has no exact number but this affected only a few. He said he will check with their human resource office to obtain the total number of furloughed employees.

Browne said they advised other employees that they are not required to work until IPI satisfies past payrolls.

“As you know our business has been closed [due] to the pandemic and we have no income to support payroll and other obligations,” he said.

Browne said they are still awaiting funds from their parent company in Hong Kong, but the funds have not arrived as scheduled.

“Although employees are understanding, this has created a severe hardship,” he said in citing the need to furlough.

Resumption of construction work at the Imperial Pacific Resort in Garapan remains uncertain due to a payment dispute between IPI and its contractor, Saipan Tribune learned. Browne earlier said their construction team is not sure about the resumption of work due to the dispute. Browne said there is still a payment dispute with their consultant engineers that is causing additional delays in the submission of certified documents to the Department of Public Works.

IPI received the stop-work order from DPW last Oct. 27.

In its notice of violations, DPW’s Building Safety Code Division ordered IPI to stop work immediately until it complies with some requirements.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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