40 Illegal Construction Workers Provided Shelter In CNMI Aging Center

Gold Mantis employees who were building Saipan Casino, haven't been paid

By Emmanuel T. Erediano

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, April 21, 2017) – About 40 construction workers with Gold Mantis were provided shelter at the manamko’ center on Wednesday night and were also given breakfast and lunch on Thursday.

At around 3 p.m., Thursday, CNMI Department of Labor staffers and three buses from Imperial Pacific International arrived to pick up the workers and take them to an undisclosed shelter.

According to Aging Office Director Walter Manglona, Department of Community and Cultural Affairs Secretary Robert Hunter called him at around 6 p.m. on Wednesday and asked him about the possibility of sheltering the construction workers who have not been paid their wages for the past month and a half by their employer, Gold Mantis Construction Decoration (CNMI) LLC, a contractor of Imperial Pacific.

Manglona said he had to inform their clients, the manamko’, about accommodating the workers.

“My heart goes out to them but we want to make sure that when we use the center as shelter we communicate it first to our clients, our elders. Secretary Hunter offered to call the elders as well so we could let them know that we were doing something good for these guys. I spoke to some of the elders and they said it was okay as they completely understood,” Manglona said.

He said representatives from Karidat also arrived to help provide food for the workers

In a separate interview, Hunter told Variety that on Saipan, people offer help when they see someone in dire need of help.

An interpreter told Variety that the construction workers who were provided shelter at the Aging Center came from two separate Gold Mantis barracks on the north end of the island.

They were told that a new shelter would be provided for them. On Wednesday they went to see their co-workers who were staying in barracks near the manamko’ center. There was, however, no more room for them at the barracks and it was at this point that DCCA decided to provide them with temporary shelter because the workers had nowhere to go and it was already early evening.

More than 80 Gold Mantis construction workers have staged protests since Friday last week over their unpaid wages.

Marianas Variety
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