Saipan legislator criticizes government over labor issues

A representative from the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands’ legislature has criticized the government over ongoing issues relating to workers at Imperial Pacific’s casino construction site, the Saipan Tribune reports.

Rep. Ed Propst, who was present during the MCC International Saipan Ltd. worker protest held on Friday, told media he demands a statement from Governor Ralph Torres and Commonwealth Casino Commission executive director Edward Deleon Guerrero.

Propst questioned the silence from Guerrero, calling the entire fiasco a “black eye to the industry.”

“Why is the executive director of the CCC so silent on all of this? I know that he has been lobbying for an extension on the casino extension and for other things but how can he turn a blind eye? How can he turn away when there are essentially crimes being committed? It’s happening through the casino; subcontractors should matter,” Propst told media.

He also questioned why there were no strict background checks on local companies doing business with the casino.

“This is being broadcasted to the whole world,” said Propst. “I demand that the governor make a statement; that the CCC executive director start making statements about this. This is ridiculous already. We can’t just turn a blind eye to this anymore,” he said.