USA: Construction workers sue Imperial Pacific and its contractors over claims for forced labour and human trafficking in Saipan
In March 2019, seven Chinese construction workers filed a case at the Federal Court in Saipan to sue Imperial Pacific International and its contractors, MCC International Saipan Ltd and Gold Mantis Construction Decoration, over forced labour and human trafficking claims on a casino construction project. Workers accused the defendants of requiring them to work for over 12 hours a day, offering no day off, paying below minimum wage, providing abysmal living quarters and confiscating their passports, among other allegations.
In April 2019, the US Department of Labor ordered Imperial Pacific International to pay $3,160,000 in back wages and liquidated damages to about 1,100 employees and $200,000 in civil money penalties. Under the consent judgment filed in the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, Imperial Pacific International would also “amend [its] payroll practices and require all contractors to amend and maintain their payroll practices by paying all employees an hourly rate in compliance with minimum wage and overtime provision of the labor law.”
In May 2020, the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands found Imperial Pacific International in contempt of courts for failing to produce discovery that the court had previously ordered.
In July 2019, when responding to a request from the Business & Human Rights resource Centre to comment on the case, Imperial Pacific stated that it “supports and strives to comply with all federal and local labor and safety laws and regulations aimed at protecting workers from harm and safeguarding their rights, including expecting our contractors to be compliant with these same laws and regulations”.
We have another story about allegations of human rights abuses against Imperial Pacific and labour groups' call for inquiry into the alleged rights violations:
USA: "Many" Chinese construction workers on Saipan island were reportedly injured or died building Imperial Pacific casinos; company denies allegations