IPI forced to let go of 100 employees this week

Nearly a hundred employees of Imperial Pacific International have been laid off this week, as the post-typhoon tourism slump continues, according to a report from Saipan Tribune.

The layoffs reportedly started on Monday, mostly foreign workers in the gaming department – including card dealers, supervisors and managers working at the casino.

It is understood the workers were let go as a result of a slump in tourism following Super Typhoon Yutu which struck the island earlier in the month.

Commonwealth Casino Commission vice chair Joseph Reyes and executive director Edward Deleon Guerrero told Saipan Tribune in an interview that IPI went through the process of informing them and the local Department of Labor that they would be laying off workers.

“IPI had informed the executive director [Deleon Guerrero]. It was a tough call on IPI’s part but they saw it was necessary to lay off some workers. We all know that there are no tourists coming in, so it was a business decision,” said Reyes to Saipan Tribune.

Deleon Guerrero added: “Yes, IPI informed the commission and the Department of Labor beforehand. They followed the right process.”

Last week, IPI temporarily shut down its casino operations for two days to make post-typhoon repairs.

In a statement ahead of the closure, IPI said it was hoping the tourism industry “rebounds immediately… so the company can resume normal casino operations.”

“Super Typhoon Yutu left a trail of destruction on Saipan and Tinian,” said the company at the time.

“The natural disaster has been heart-wrenching because the storm left our beautiful islands looking like a war zone. The island-wide destruction affected personal property, our infrastructure and the business community. Like so many others, Imperial Pacific International (CNMI), LLC was included in this trail of destruction.”