IPI workers leave CNMI over uncertain future

Uncertain of their future and immigration status, a number of foreign workers at Imperial Pacific International have chosen to leave the CNMI, according to a senior company official, reported by Saipan Tribune.

Speaking at a Commonwealth Casino Commission meeting last week, IPI human relations vice president Bertha Leon Guerrero said it was hard for CW1 employees to plan their future in Saipan.

“It’s hard for them to plan their future when every year they are not sure if they are going to get renewed or do not know what’s going to happen. A lot of them were just exhausted from that uncertainty,” she said. “Quite a few of them have already left.,” she said.

IPI, like many other businesses in CNMI, have been facing a labor shortage of skilled U.S. workers, and the planned reduction in CW1 visa issuance is likely to exacerbate the problem.

Guerrero said that most of their foreign workers chose not to renew their employment contracts because of uncertainty of their employment status in the Commonwealth.

Guerrero said they having been exerting all efforts to hire locally.

“We participated in the NMC Career Fair just to recruit, to inform the local talents that there are opportunities here. We’re trying to get some interest in the internship program. These are some of the ways that we get the word out and let them know.”

However, Guerrero said that IPI will continue their operations even with fewer workers.

“If we don’t have enough staffing and if we can’t open 10 tables, then we only open seven. It’s a lot of trying to make sure that we continue our operations based on what we have.”

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