Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC has yet to pay the back wages of employees who are owed money but were let go as a result of the economic downturn brought by the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.
According to numerous IPI employees who were separated from IPI or furloughed, or completely let go, they have yet to receive their wages from July last year and additional monies owed them as stated in their contracts with IPI.
“We are IPI employees who were separated in July or August and are still waiting to be paid for the paid time off earned and severance amount promised in our employment contracts,” said one such employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
One employee who is currently employed with IPI who also requested anonymity told Saipan Tribune that he, among others, did not receive any payment from IPI last Friday for their last few payrolls.
“I work for IPI even though they don’t pay me. Many were given their checks [last Friday] but they said they couldn’t verify my payment. I have not been paid yet. Our barracks also still has no power and we’re living in the dark,” he said.
IPI reported to the federal court last Friday that they have issued payments for payrolls 21 to 26 to over 300 IPI workers who currently remain employed with IPI.
However, IPI has yet to report whether or not they have restored employee housing to habitable conditions.
Last Thursday, during a hearing on the U.S. Department of Labor’s petition to find IPI and its officials in contempt, IPI chair Cui Li Jie promised that all employees would be paid on Friday and that power and water would be restored to all employee housing.
Cui was found in contempt last Thursday, along with IPI and Imperial Pacific International Holdings LTD.
Acting on the USDOL’s motion, District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona Manglona dismissed Browne from the proceedings. USDOL asked the court to dismiss former IPI chief executive officer Donald Browne from its suit because they have no sufficient evidence to show that Browne had actual notice of the 2019 consent judgement.
USDOL also moved the court to include IPI’s new CEO in its suit against IPI and find him in contempt. However, as of last Thursday’s hearing, IPI had no replacement CEO yet.