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Labor issue spells possible trouble for IPI

A mass exodus of workers on the Imperial Pacific Resort construction site could mean more delays are in store for the casino-hotel, which is aiming to complete construction by August 2018.

According to the Saipan Tribune, around 3,000 worker slots were cut from the CW-1 program this fiscal year, which has wreaked havoc on IPI’s labor pool as well as other businesses requiring foreign workers.

“The biggest issue [to the progress of IPR] are the [lack of] workers,” said IPI construction project director Eric Poon in a meeting with the casino commission earlier this week.

Poon said that more CWs are due to leave in December due to the CW-1 cuts for the 2018 fiscal year.

As of this month, IPI has a total of 207 workers at the construction site, down from 291 a few weeks ago.

“People have started leaving and their numbers are going down due to the CW issue,” he said.

Poon however said he was confident that the casino resort will finish construction in time for its August 2018 deadline.

The company is aiming to bring in around 100 to 200 U.S. workers from Hawaii and Guam in December to continue construction work at the site.

Commission vice chairman Joe Reyes, during a meeting with IPI, said a possible delay (as a result of a lack of labor) may lead to another request from IPI to amend its casino license, but was hopeful that the casino resort will meet its deadline.

“We’d love to see this project move forward, and it is part of our job to see to it that it is completed and that there will be no chaos along the way,” Reyes told Poon.

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