IPI construction team leader resigns due to ongoing payment delays

The company owes 3 payrolls to its remaining 30 employees.
The company owes 3 payrolls to its remaining 30 employees.

Jesse Aquiningoc says he refuses to continue working without being paid.

Northern Mariana Islands.- Tired of Imperial Pacific International’s continued failure to pay wages on time, construction team leader Jesse Aquiningoc has resigned from his position and refused the company’s request to continue working.

According to Mariana’s Variety, Aquiningoc said the company owes him pay for 52 hours of work and around $4,000 in paid time off that he had accumulated in the past two years. He said former IPI chair Cui Lijie has asked him to continue working for the company but he refused.

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.

IPI currently has 15 construction workers tasked with removing tower cranes from unfinished buildings at its casino hotel in Garapan. It also has 17 security guards maintaining the venue and warehouses in San Antonio and Lower Base and eight administrative staff at an office at Flame Tree in Sadog Tasi.

Last week it was revealed that IPI owes three payrolls: from March 21 to April 3; April 4 to April 17; and April 18 to April 29.

Commonwealth Casino Commission Chairman Edward C. Deleon Guerrero reminded IPI at a meeting on April 29, 2022 that non-compliance with payroll is a violation of licensing agreements and casino regulations.

The future of Imperial Pacific International could be defined on May 24 when the Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC) holds a hearing to decide whether to permanently revoke its exclusive casino licence, which is currently suspended indefinitely.

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