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    Wednesday, November 20, 2019-3:43:36A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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IPI contractor’s labor practices mentioned in US congressional hearing

U.S. Congressman Thomas Richards Souzzi of New York’s 3rd district mentioned Imperial Pacific International construction contractor’s labor practices at a hearing of the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

Thomas Souzzi

The hearing discussed forced labor, mass internment, and social control in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.

A Democrat, Congressman Souzzi stated that China is exporting forced labor practices to other parts of the world, including the U.S.

He mentioned the recent conviction of the head of a Chinese construction firm in Brooklyn for engaging to provide forced labor in March 2019.

Souzzi also highlighted a report of the U.S. Department of Labor announcing that a Chinese construction company owed over $13.9 million to 2,400 workers on Saipan.

“Chinese construction firms hired…to build the IPI casino-resort engaged in reprehensible labor practices,” he said. “They employed workers who entered Saipan on tourist visas and forced workers to labor 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no day off, ignoring federal minimum wages and overtime rules,” Souzzi said.

He also mentioned the ongoing lawsuit filed by seven workers against IPI and its construction contractors.

In that lawsuit, the workers accused IPI and its contractors — MCC International Saipan Ltd. Co. and Gold Mantis Construction Decoration (CNMI) — of forced labor and human trafficking.

Their amended lawsuit also brings claims under the Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 or TVPRA as well as claims under CNMI law for the injuries they allegedly suffered.

The plaintiffs seek an award for damages and monetary compensation for their injuries and pain and suffering. The alleged injuries included a badly burnt leg, a scalded hand, and a partially severed finger.

The proposed jury trial date for the lawsuit is Feb. 2, 2021.