Imperial Pacific Still Short of US Workers

Saipan’s Imperial Pacific International (IPI) needs to boost the percentage of US workers in its labor pool to 65 percent from 44 percent at present to meet the conditions of its casino license, local media reports.

IPI Vice-President for Human Resources Bertha Leon Guerrero presented data to the Commonwealth Casino Commission on Friday showing the company’s progress in hiring US workers.

The casino license agreement requires IPI to maintain a workforce made up of 65 percent US workers, which includes permanent residents and Freely Associated States (FAS) citizens.

Leon Guerrero’s presentation indicated that as of April 2018, IPI’s US labor pool had reached 44 percent, comprising 531 US citizens, 91 permanent residents, and 29 FAS citizens.

The total number of IPI casino employees was 1,468 as of April.

Companies in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands face a shortage of skilled workers and the United States is planning to scale back the number of CW-1 visas it issues, which is expected to exacerbate the problem. The visas allow companies to import foreign workers.

IPI has already faced issues with its labor force, with its main contractor accused of hiring illegal Chinese laborers who came in on tourist visas. (AGB)