CNMI Casino Cut Off From Power Supply, Employee Barracks Soon To Become Inhabitable

Guest workers at shuttered Tinian Dynasty resort await back-pay, benefits 

By Emmanuel T. Erediano

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, June 21, 2016) – The Tinian Mayor’s Office, the San Jose Parish Church and a women’s organization on Tinian are providing assistance to the CW workers whose barracks at the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino have been disconnected from the Commonwealth of Utilities Corp. power grid.

The hotel and casino are no longer operating, but the over 100 CW workers and their children are still on Tinian, waiting for their back-pay and liquidated damages owed to them by Dynasty.

On Sunday, the San Jose Parish Church and the Tinian Women’s Conference sent canned goods, rice, noodles and crackers to the CW workers and their families whose power was cut off on Friday night because Dynasty could not pay its overdue $1.3 million utility bill.

They will run out of food soon because the hotel supplies are likely to spoil because their power was cut off. They have also been sleeping in tents and under makeshift canopies because of the unbearable heat inside the barracks.

They have a generator, but fuel for it will run out in the next few days.

Tinian Mayor Joey San Nicolas said the workers can seek shelter at the Tinian gym and the youth center both of which have restrooms and shower rooms.

In a letter, the Tinian mayor informed American Red Cross-NMI chapter executive director John Hirsh and Salvation Army Pastor Wayne Gillespie about the CW workers’ condition. He told them that by June 26, the Tinian Dynasty barracks will be “totally uninhabitable.”

San Nicolas provided the Red Cross and Salvation Army with the list of things that CW workers and their families need — mosquito coils, toilet paper, paper towels, drinking water, detergent, electric fans, butane gas, canned food, trash bins, trash bags, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap and tents.

He said although Tinian Dynasty has 30 days worth of food, “the fact that there is no power will compromise the frozen items in the walk-in freezer at the site. Therefore, in addition to the above mentioned items, we will be requesting the following to store frozen items for the employees: deep freezers, portable generators.”

The mayor said the United Filipino Association and the Tinian Marianas Lions Club are accepting donations for the affected workers.

Saipan residents who wish to donate can drop off items at SN-5 Shipping in Lower Base or call Carla San Nicolas at 322-0516 for more information.

In a separate interview, Sen. Frank Q. Cruz said the CW workers are facing a humanitarian crisis.

“We cannot just leave them like that,” he added.

He said the Tinian leadership will continue to find ways to provide the workers with humanitarian assistance.

“We must do something to help them,” he added.

Cruz at the same time expressed his gratitude to the San Jose Parish Church, the Tinian Women’s Conference and other individuals who are helping the affected workers.

“I ask other members of the community and other government agencies to help in any way they can,” Cruz said.

On Monday, Variety was told that Sterling Lundgren, the consultant in charge of overseeing the hotel and casino premises, met with the CW workers and told them that Tinian Entertainment Corp., which plans to acquire Dynasty, is willing to help purchase the plane tickets of workers who want to return to their home countries.

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