Former construction team leader claims IPI still owes him money

Jess Aquiningoc worked at IPI for six years.
Jess Aquiningoc worked at IPI for six years.

Jesse Aquiningoc claims the company has refused to pay him his salary.

Northern Mariana Islands.- A few weeks after resigning as IPI’s construction team leaderJesse Aquiningoc has told Mariana’s Variety that the company still owes him his salary plus $4,000 in paid time off accumulated over two years. Aquiningoc also accused the company of wanting him and 15 other workers to continue working on a reduced salary.

Due to the lack of payments, the former IPI worker says had to borrow money and go into debt with family and friends. He said the company had asked him not to speak to the media but that he had to do so to make visible the damage caused.

Aquiningoc led a team of construction workers tasked to remove the remaining tower cranes still on top of IPI’s unfinished casino-hotel building in Garapan. The company’s management said it was waiting for the US Department of Labour to release $250,000 in bail to pay IPI’s workers and remove the tower crane.

Aquiningoc said: “How many illegal acts does IPI have to do for government officials or the CNMI governor to come to the rescue of all IPI employees that have suffered the same as I did? I have called the Office of the Governor to schedule a meeting with the governor…but nothing has been done to schedule a meeting.”

CNMI Court postpones CCC hearing on IPI casino licence for second time

IPI has bought itself more time thanks to a ruling in its favour that postponed the hearing to decide whether its casino licence will be permanently revoked. Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona issued a temporary restraining order preventing the Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC) from holding the hearing scheduled for May 24.

In her report, Manglona explained that the damage IPI could suffer from the cancellation of the licence far outweighs the possible damage to the CCC. In addition, she ordered the regulator to appear at a hearing on June 2 to explain why a preliminary injunction should not be issued.

CCC chief Andrew Yeom said he was not satisfied with the request because IPI had to respond to five complaints from the commission, including paying licence fees and settling claims with some suppliers.

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