Imperial Pacific must Pay Legal Wages, Compensate Injuries of Saipan Construction Workers
Photo Source: VOA
May 16, 2017
The past month has seen a series of protests by exploited Chinese migrant laborers in Saipan for their wages and work injury compensation. They labored on the $500 million casino project by Hong Kong-based Imperial Pacific International Holdings Limited, whose contractors included some of the biggest mainland contractors—the state-run China Metallurgical Group (MCC), Nanjing Beilida New Material System Engineering, and Suzhou Gold Mantis Construction Decoration. But they received treatment that was inhumane and illegal.
After many workers paid thousands of U.S. dollars for the opportunity to work in Saipan, based on promises of high wages and good conditions, these contractors paid even less than Saipan’s minimum wage of $6.55. Some workers were not paid at all. They were given food with live worms in it and put in dorms that violated housing standards. Working shifts that lasted 13 or more hours per day, injuries were a frequent occurrence—burnt limbs, crushed fingers, even death. But the companies never took many of these workers to see a doctor and, if they did, forced the worker to pay himself. No insurance was purchased for these workers and no compensation has been offered.
Imperial Pacific and its contractors must take responsibility for this inhumane, illegal treatment. One contractor, MCC, has reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor to pay some of its workers after it was caught red-handed holding their passports. Gold Mantis also recently reached a settlement with workers for unpaid wages. However, despite their stated “humanitarian” concern for the workers and delivery of cigarettes, not a penny of compensation has been paid for injuries on the job. Despite a government investigation into its labor practices, and the arrest of two of its managers, Beilida still has not paid its hundreds of workers the minimum wage required by law.
Although Imperial Pacific “denounced” this abuse of workers by its contractors, this is clearly insufficient. Hundreds of exploited workers remain uncompensated. Thus, we demand Imperial Pacific and the related contractors to take immediate actions to:
- Reimburse the recruitment fees paid to obtain work with these contractors;
- Compensate each hour worked according to minimum wage and overtime laws; and
- Compensate for the severe injuries that will impact workers for the rest of their lives.
Hong Kong Confederation of Unions
You Can Take Action Too:
- Follow the Gold Mantis Labor account on Twitter for updates on casino workers’ struggle to recover recruitment fees, legal wages, and work injury compensation: https://twitter.com/GoldMantisLabor.
Selected Media Coverage:
Video: Who Will Compensate Me?
Emmanuel T. Erediano, Gold Mantis breaks silence; Imperial Pacific ‘denounces’ contractors’ illegal acts, Marianas Variety, May 1, 2017.
Saipan casino workers protest for payment as FBI cites illegal labor, Reuters, April 14, 2017.