Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC has paid over 300 employees five payrolls’ worth of their salaries.
In a status report filed with the U.S District Court for the NMI last Friday, former IPI general counsel Michael Dotts said that payroll checks owed from 2020 have been paid out as of Jan. 22.
Dotts mentioned during a court hearing last week that a little over 300 individuals remain employed with IPI who have not been paid their last five payrolls.
The disbursed checks covered payrolls 21 to 26 and there were no notable or major problems, he said.
Dotts said there were some issues for some workers regarding pay periods 21 to 23 but IPI is trying to resolve those issues.
He added that records of all hours worked have been provided to a Department of Labor field agent.
In a separate stipulation, Dotts said IPI and the U.S. Department of Labor have agreed to include IPI food and beverage employees in the group of IPI workers who are exempted from the court’s stop work order.
Dotts said food and beverage employees are essential to the health and wellbeing of employees housed in IPI workers’ housing.
He stated that IPI has about 10 food and beverage staff who cook and provide food services to about 200 construction workers.
Saipan Tribune learned from a credible source that power and water has yet to be restored to IPI employee housing despite promises made by IPI chair Cui Jie Li in court last week that power and water would be restored by Friday.
The source added they did receive checks from IPI but he has yet to cash his check. He said that, based on his previous experience with IPI checks, the checks could still bounce, and most stores still do not accept IPI checks for fear that banks are not accepting them.
According to court documents, the court’s stop-work order remains in effect until court sanctions are satisfied, including payroll for IPI’s current workers are met and workers’ housing are restored to habitable conditions.
Last week, IPI was expecting over $2 million from IPI’s holding company in Hong Kong to cover the six pay periods, Oct. 9, 2020 to Dec. 18, 2020. It was earlier explained that payroll money for IPI was being sent back since it was coming from China and failed to comply with Anti-Money Laundering rules.