28 Apr 2017
- Emmanuel T. Erediano
GOLD Mantis Construction Decoration (CNMI) LLC says it is working with the CNMI and federal governments in providing humanitarian aid to its construction workers who have been protesting since last week over unpaid wages.
In an email on Friday, the company stated:
“Gold Mantis has been providing, and is continuing to provide, humanitarian aid to as many as 91 individuals who we understand were, until recently, working on the Imperial Pacific hotel and casino project. Gold Mantis has been working with both CNMI and U.S. government authorities and a local charitable organization (Karidat) with respect to the logistics of providing this humanitarian aid, which includes food, water and lodging.”
But Gold Mantis did not respond to Variety’s question about the workers’ unpaid salaries.
On Friday at 9 a.m., about 60 Gold Mantis construction workers held another protest action near the Imperial Pacific casino construction site in Garapan. Some of them marched from their barracks in Chinatown while others said they rode taxis from their new barracks in Dandan where the CNMI Department of Labor transported them last week.
Through an interpreter, the workers said they are demanding to be paid based on the current federal minimum wage rate applicable to the CNMI which is $6.55 an hour. They also said that they have not received their wages — which are below the required rate — for a month and a half. They said they were supposed to get 300 yuan or $43.57 for nine hours a day, and 50 yuan or $7.26 in overtime pay an hour. They also told Variety that a $500 “introduction” fee was deducted from the first paycheck they received from Gold Mantis. The workers say they arrived on Saipan as “tourists.”
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/94863-gold-mantis-breaks-silence