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

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21 May 2020

USA: Imperial Pacific International ordered to pay $29K attorneys' fees and costs incurred by seven former workers

Author: Saipan Tribune (USA)

“IPI ordered to pay $29K attorneys’ fees, costs to 7 ex-workers”, 7 May 2020

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona ordered Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC… to pay a total of $29,459 in attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by the seven former workers who are suing IPI and its contractor and subcontractor.

Manglona ordered IPI to pay the former workers $25,872 for hours expended by their New York-based counsel Aaron Halegua, and $1,782 for hours expended by their local counsel, Bruce Berline.

The judge also ordered IPI to pay the former workers $1,648 for hours expended by the former workers’ paralegal, Jacob Kessler, and $156 in costs…

The seven workers from China, who worked on IPI’s casino construction project in Garapan, have asked the court to award them $31,801 in attorneys’ fees and $156 in costs in connection with their countermotion to compel…

The plaintiffs… are suing IPI, MCC International Saipan Ltd. Co. and MCC’s subcontractor, Gold Mantis Construction Decoration (CNMI) LLC, over the alleged injuries they suffered during accidents at the worksite of IPI’s resort/casino project in Garapan... 

The workers alleged, among other things, that they were forced to work long hours for below minimum wage under extremely dangerous conditions at the casino-resort worksite.

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Author: Saipan Tribune (美国)



美国北马里亚纳群岛联邦地区法院首席法官曼格洛纳(Ramona V. Manglona)命令博华太平洋……支付七名前员工起诉该公司及其承包商和分包商产生的29459美元的律师费和相关费用。 

曼格洛纳命令博华太平洋承担这些前雇员的律师费:向纽约律师何宜伦(Aaron Halegua)支付25872美元,向当地律师布鲁斯·柏林(Bruce Berline)支付1782美元。

法官还勒令公司向前员工的律师助理雅各布·凯斯勒(Jacob Kessler)支付1648美元的法律服务费和156美元的其他支出……


原告……正在起诉博华太平洋、中冶集团塞班国际有限公司(MCC International Saipan Ltd. Co.)和金螳螂(北马里亚纳群岛)建筑装饰有限责任公司(Gold Mantis Construction Decoration (CNMI) LLC);他们在加拉班博华太平洋度假村/赌场项目的事故中受伤,要求被诉公司承担事故责任……


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Author: Saipan Tribune (美國)


“博華太平洋被勒令支付七名前員工2.9萬美元的律師費和其他費用”, 202057

美國北馬里亞納群島聯邦地區法院首席法官曼格洛納( Ramona V. Manglona )命令博華太平洋……支付七名前員工起訴該公司及其承包商和分包商產生的29459美元的律師費和相關費用。

曼格洛納命令博華太平洋承擔這些前僱員的律師費:向紐約律師何宜倫( Aaron Halegua )支付25872美元,向當地律師布魯斯·柏林( Bruce Berline )支付1782美元。

法官還勒令公司向前員工的律師助理雅各布·凱斯勒( Jacob Kessler )支付1648美元的法律服務費和156美元的其他支出……

這七名來自中國的工人曾在加拉班( Garapan )參與了博華太平洋賭場建設工作,他們要求法院判決,讓被告承擔31801美元的律師費和156美元的相反申請費用……

原告……正在起訴博華太平洋、中冶集團塞班國際有限公司( MCC International Saipan Ltd. Co. )和金螳螂(北馬里亞納群島)建築裝飾有限責任公司( Gold Mantis Construction Decoration (CNMI) LLC );他們在加拉班博華太平洋度假村/賭場項目的事故中受傷,要求被訴公司承擔事故責任……


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4 May 2020

USA: Imperial Pacific International found in contempt of court in alleged forced labour case in Saipan

Author: Marianas Variety

“IPI found in contempt of court, ordered to pay attorney’s fees and costs”, 16 April 2020

CHIEF Judge Ramona V. Manglona of the District Court for the NMI on… found Imperial Pacific International in contempt of court for violating two of her previous orders. She also ordered IPI to pay the plaintiffs attorney’s fees.

In addition, the judge gave IPI one month to produce documents requested by the plaintiffs; otherwise, it will be required to pay $2,000 per day until it produces everything.

Attorneys Aaron Halegua and Bruce Berline represent seven workers who alleged that they were victims of a forced labor and human trafficking scheme while employed by IPI’s former construction contractor and subcontractor, MCC International Saipan Ltd. Co. and Gold Mantis Construction Decoration (CNMI)…

Halegua earlier asked the court for an order sanctioning IPI for failing to produce discovery that the court had previously ordered.

IPI, for its part, opposed the motion for sanction, saying none of its delayed production of requested documents or materials were due to willfulness or, bad faith, or its fault…

Halegua’s oral request to file an amended complaint to join new parties, with no objection from defense counsel, was also granted by the judge at the hearing. She ordered the plaintiffs to file the amended complaint on May 23, 2020…

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Author: Marianas Variety



北马里亚纳群岛联邦地区法院首席法官曼格罗纳(Ramona V. Manglona)……因博华太平洋违反她之前发出的两项命令,判决该公司藐视法庭。她还勒令公司支付原告方的律师费。


何宜伦(Aaron Halegua)和布鲁斯·伯林(Bruce Berline)担任七名工人的代理律师。他们自称是强迫劳动和人口贩运的受害者,曾受雇于博华太平洋雇用的建筑承包商和分包商中冶集团塞班国际有限公司(MCC International Saipan Ltd. Co.),金螳螂建筑装饰股份有限公司(Gold Mantis Construction Decoration)……




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Author: Marianas Variety



北馬里亞納群島聯邦地區法院首席法官曼格羅納(Ramona V. Manglona)……因博華太平洋違反她之前發出的兩項命令,判決該公司藐視法庭。她還勒令公司支付原告方的律師費。


何宜倫(Aaron Halegua)和布魯斯·伯林(Bruce Berline)擔任七名工人的代理律師。他們自稱是強迫勞動和人口販運的受害者,曾受僱於博華太平洋僱用的建築承包商和分包商中冶集團塞班國際有限公司(MCC International Saipan Ltd. Co.),金螳螂建築裝飾股份有限公司(Gold Mantis Construction Decoration)……




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Author: William Nee, 国际特赦组职





中冶集团在香港证券交易所(HKEX)上市,自2013年以来,香港证券交易所已要求上市公司提交有关其运营中人权风险的 “环境,社会与治理” (ESG)年度报告。理论上,此类报告应有助公司发现问题并减轻其影响。但是,对于违反者几乎没有后果,许多公司都不遵守。









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Author: William Nee, 國際特赦組織





中冶集團在香港證券交易所(HKEX)上市,自2013年以來,香港證券交易所已要求上市公司提交有關其運營中人權風險的 “環境,社會與治理” (ESG)年度報告。理論上,此類報告應有助公司發現問題並減輕其影響。但是,對於違反者幾乎沒有後果,許多公司都不遵守。









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6 November 2019

China should take action against human rights abuses for Belt and Road projects, analyst says

Author: William Nee, Amnesty International

“Time for China to take action against human rights abuses on its Belt and Road projects”, 3 November 2019

… In 2017, shortly after the facility opened on the island, part of a US commonwealth in the Pacific, a US federal government investigation found that Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) – the project’s general contractor and a subsidiary of a Chinese state-owned conglomerate – had underpaid millions of US dollars to hundreds of construction workers.

A few months ago, several former MCC employees sued the company for forced labour, human trafficking, and failing to compensate them for the physical injuries they suffered while working on the casino project. A company manager also spent time in jail for violating federal immigration and employment laws.

MCC is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX), which, since 2013, has required listed companies to file an annual “Environmental, Social and Governance” (ESG) report on human rights risks in their operations. In theory, such reporting should encourage companies to identify problems and mitigate their effects. But there are few consequences for violators and many companies do not comply.

Amnesty International reviewed the ESG reports filed by MCC for 2016, 2017 and 2018, as well as the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports for those years, but found no mention of the project in Saipan – let alone the abuses that occurred there…

MCC still has not remedied all human rights abuses. While MCC contributed to compensating workers for the minimum wage violations uncovered by a federal government investigation, the 2019 lawsuit highlights that many injured workers remain uncompensated.

The Saipan case clearly shows that the CSR and ESG self-reporting systems are broken. But how can they be improved?

Rather than watching as its companies engage in human rights abuses, China could become a leader in this area by setting high standards for projects in its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)…

China should legally require all companies participating in BRI to carry out human rights due diligence in line with international standards. This means companies must not only file reports, but also identify, prevent, mitigate and account for the human rights impacts of their (and their subsidiaries’) operations.

Chinese government agencies should be given greater powers to punish companies who fall short. Victims of human rights abuses should also be able to seek remedies against the perpetrating entities through courts or other mechanisms.

Such a scenario isn’t as far-fetched as it may sound. This past November, Beijing proclaimed that Chinese companies operating overseas must observe local laws and adhere to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights…

If China passed – and enforced – a law that required its companies to implement and publicly disclose such practices, it would send a meaningful signal that it was serious about protecting human rights and potentially enhance the image of the BRI…

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Author: 塞班论坛报(美国)


塞班岛联邦地方法院决定... 允许七名中国建筑工人对赌场运营商博华太平洋国际(北马里亚纳群岛自由邦)有限责任公司及其两家承包商继续进行强迫劳动和人口贩卖诉讼。

案件( Wang, et al. v. Gold Mantis Construction Decoration (CNMI), LLC, et al., 18 Civ. 0030)涉及原告在塞班岛博华太平洋赌场和度假村项目上的工作所产生的索赔。第一次修订的投诉引发了根据联邦 「人口贩运受害者保护重新授权法案 (Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act)」和「北马里亚纳群岛自由邦反贩运法(CNMI Anti-Trafficking Act)」对强迫劳动和人口贩运的索赔,以及根据北马里亚纳群岛自由邦法律就原告在该项目中遭受的身体伤害提出的索赔。原告正在为他们的伤病和痛苦以及惩罚性损害寻求金钱赔偿。这些索赔中的每一项都是针对案件中的三名被告:博华太平洋国际,中国中冶塞班国际和金螳螂建筑装饰公司(北马里亚纳群岛自由邦)...

在2019年4月30日,被告提出动议驳回对他们的各种指控。然而,在2019年6月24日的决定中,首席法官Ramona V. Manglona否决了所有被告的动议。法院认定「...原告对每个被告都提出了合理的[强迫劳动]索赔。」


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