Pacific Rim Company Group, a construction company, has announced it will complete construction on Imperial Pacific Resort Casino in Saipan. The company says it will have to hire more than 2,000 employees to complete work on its controversial casino project.
Construction work on the huge Imperial Pacific Resort casino was suspended last year when agents, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, raided the construction site and found illegal workers. The investigation also began when a Chinese worker who arrived on the island illegally died at the scene. The workers then protested, insisting that they receive wages and compensation for the poor conditions that forced them to work and live.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor reached an agreement with construction companies, and four Saipan contractors announced they would pay workers $13.9 million in damages and overdue wages. But hundreds of Chinese workers may not be paid because authorities have not explained how to guarantee it, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Pacific Rim Group of Companies said it is currently starting work at the casino site and needs to hire at least 500 local workers by the end of March to complete the construction. The company’s president, Keith Stewart, claims the contract was reviewed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor. According to him, his company and subcontractors will operate perfectly safe and even within military standards.
The Imperial Pacific Resort Casino in Saipan, North Mariana Islands, has been embroiled in controversy since an official U.S. investigation, with construction workers paid far less than promised and brought to the island by several companies contracted by Hong Kong Imperial Pacific International, the owner of the casino project.
Workers entered the country on tourist visas without proper work permits, because the Northern Mariana Islands are in fact a U.S. federation in the Western Pacific, so they are paid less and working conditions do not meet U.S. health and safety standards, and at the same time President Donald Trump has warned of visa fraud and illegal immigration crackdowns.
Interestingly, former Imperial Pacific CEO Mark A. Brown, who stepped down from his post a few months ago, once ran Donald Trump’s casino empire. This is not the only strange fact surrounding this casino. Last year, temporary casino operations on the island generated $32 billion in revenue, outperforming the world’s largest casinos several times.
Last month, gambling regulators in the Mariana Islands faced corruption charges. It became clear that one of the members of the Commonwealth Casino Commission was the governor’s uncle, which raised eyebrows and sparked a response from regulators who denied it. 릴게임