IPI workers in limbo, others return home

Posted on Nov 19 2019


The workers who were forced to resign from Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC remain in limbo, as other have decided to return home. Saipan Tribune learned that over 80 of the 157 workers who were forced to resign agreed to return home after receiving their checks for their last pay period.

One of the workers, who agreed to resign and requested anonymity, told Saipan Tribune that he is unsure of what to do at this point as he talked to the other workers about their options. He said that they were replaced by new Mongolian workers and that they were forced to resign without prior knowledge. The worker also confirmed that he was paid by IPI and received a minor incentive.

He said the remaining workers who have stayed are in the process of moving back to Taiwan since they have already been paid by IPI, but a handful of others are unsure of what to do in the coming days.

The workers hold temporary worker visas, called H2B visas, which expire on January 2020. They were reportedly forced by IPI to resign from their jobs last Nov. 6, with no idea why. Dismayed, the workers marched to the U.S. Department of Labor office at the Marina Heights Business Park in Puerto Rico to plead their case, then walked over to the Imperial Pacific Resort & Hotel to protest in front of the casino, Imperial Pacific Resort.

Initially, the workers were looking for a form of compensation after being forced to resign months before their permits expire. Saipan Tribune also learned from the worker that he overheard management talk about the Taiwanese workers being paid at an “expensive rate” and they needed to find an alternative source of workers to continue construction of the Imperial Pacific Resort.

IPI reported that 314 H2B Taiwanese workers and 150 H2B Mongolian workers have been working on the project as of last month. It is unclear how many Taiwanese H2B workers are currently working on IPI’s project and there have been no response from IPI to Saipan Tribune’s attempts to get an update.

Marc Venus | Reporter
Marc Venus is the Saipan Tribune's public health and education reporter. He has an associate degree in Applied Sciences in Computer Applications and is working on his bachelor’s degree at the Northern Marianas College. Contact him at marc_venus@saipantribune.com.

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