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Foreign workers stage another protest

FORMER Gold Mantis, MCC and Beilida workers staged another protest on Thursday last week, saying they had been “tricked” by Imperial Pacific International.

It was the fourth protest action held by the 35 workers since they were laid off in April.

“Since [then], we have all been waiting here in Saipan to be paid what we are legally owed but have received nothing. This is why we have been protesting. We had planned to demonstrate again on July 6, the day the casino opened. But the evening prior, a lawyer from Imperial Pacific came to our dorm and asked us not to protest, promising that the company was working to resolve our wage claims, and that it would give us some money for living expenses, and the injured workers would be taken to see a doctor,” the workers said in a statement.

“We took the company at its word and did not protest. Two weeks later, nobody has seen a doctor, we have not received a penny, and Imperial Pacific has provided no update on the wages owed to us. We feel we were tricked. So now we will protest until we receive what we are entitled to under the law.”

Variety asked for the name of the lawyer who approached them. The workers showed this reporter a business card that belonged to local attorney Sean Frink.

Frink had not responded to Variety’s email.

But IPI, in a statement, said:

“Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC noticed that an ongoing protest is taking place outside the construction site in Garapan and the action is carried out by a group of construction workers employed by its contractors and subcontractors. Despite the fact that Imperial Pacific is not legally responsible for these workers, the company will continue to assist the affected workers on a humanitarian basis and truly hopes that all the workers can go back home and be reunited with their families.

“The company is also issuing this statement to reiterate its denunciation of the use of illegal workers and the utter disregard on the rights and well-being of these affected workers. The company urges its contractors and subcontractors to resolve the issue as soon as they can.”

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/97117-foreign-workers-stage-another-protest

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