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IPI told to face disgruntled workers in public forum

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INSTEAD of issuing press statements with “harmful” allegations, the officials of Imperial Pacific International must face its disgruntled workers in a public forum, some of its former  employees said on Tuesday.

Glenn Bell, manager of  IPI Italian construction team, Luis Jou and Vincent “Kobre” Aldan, both former IPI workers, made the following statement in response to IPI allegations:

“We the persons named, collectively demand a right of reply to clarify our responses to this IPI-generated press release. We collectively challenge IPI to discuss these issues in an open televised forum to clarify these harmful assertions and allegations leveled against us.

“IPI LLC, we await your attendance. Press releases generally relate to information, not disinformation.”

Bell, Jou and Aldan told the Commonwealth Casino Commission  last week that IPI had not paid many of its construction workers in the past four months, and had disregarded safety rules at the construction site in Garapan.

In a statement on Friday, the IPI management denied the allegations, and said that it has overpaid Bell and his team, and had not seen any progress in Jou’s work.

IPI also said that Aldan’s allegations were not true.

The Lottery Commission will meet on Oct. 8 in the governor’s conference room to hear the amendments to the casino license agreement proposed by IPI. The hearing is open to the public.

IPI is seeking a 50% reduction in this year’s $15.5 million casino license fee. IPI also wants to be allowed to pay the 2021 license fee by installments.

In addition, IPI is seeking a 50% reduction in the $3 million annual regulatory fee that the Commonwealth Casino Commission is using for its personnel and operations.

Moreover, IPI wants the CNMI government to make Public Law 20-85 retroactive to July 2015 so that IPI can sue patrons over debts starting from 2015.

P.L. 20-85 was enacted in January 2019 “to strengthen the protections against fraudulent misuse of financial instruments in casino gaming and other transactions in the Commonwealth.”

IPI Chief Executive Officer Donald Browne said 15% of bad debts that will be recovered through  legal action by the casino “will be paid to the CNMI as a tax contribution.” 

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