CNMI Court approves IPI agreement with Turkish workers

The Turkish workers had sued IPI for discrimination.
The Turkish workers had sued IPI for discrimination.

Chief Justice Ramona Manglona has approved a Fair Labour Standards Act settlement between the casino operator and Turkish construction workers.

Northern Mariana Islands.- Imperial Pacific International (IPI) looks to have settled at least one of the lawsuits it’s been facing. The casino operator has delivered on an agreement with three former Turkish construction workers who were demanding an unspecified amount of damages and a jury trial after accusing the company of discrimination.

Chief judge Ramona V. Manglona had approved the Fair Labour Standards Act (FLSA) settlement between the parties and granted the plaintiffs’ motion for attorney’s fees and costs. IPI paid costs totalling $480,000 to plaintiffs’ attorneys on October 5, so Judge Manglona has ruled that satisfaction with the FLSA ruling will be recorded in the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, in the period that IPI hired the plaintiffs to work at its Garapan Palace casino, it also hired other construction workers, including Taiwanese workers, under the H-2B visa programme. The Turkish workers alleged that the Taiwanese workers had the same or similar level of skills, qualifications and experience but received significantly higher wages, in some cases nearly twice as much.

According to the lawsuit, IPI terminated the Turkish workers’ positions in December 2020. The court had previously granted the plaintiffs’ motion for default after IPI failed to respond or defend itself within the time permitted.

IPI could resume gaming operations in first quarter of 2023

As previously reported by Focus Gaming News, Imperial Pacific International could resume operations at its casino on Saipan in the first quarter of 2023. That’s if it can reach an agreement with the Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC).

According to Asian Gaming Brief, IPI has proposed changes to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) regulatory framework. It wants to replace its annual licence fee with a gaming licence fee based on a percentage of its net profit (with preset minimum and maximum amounts). It also seeks to separate the operation and regulation of IPI’s hotels from its casino operations.

The company also hopes to negotiate a waiver of license fees from 2020 and 2021 and a reduction in the amount paid at the end of the term of its casino licence agreement. IPI has also asked for the dismissal of the ongoing CNMI Supreme Court case and the CCC order that resulted in the suspension of its casino operations.

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