September 11, 2011

Workers of the Rota Hotel picketing on the road in a plea for help.

How does the criminal management of the Rota Hotel get away with blatantly ripping off thirteen legal foreign workers? For a year I have written about the theft of employees' wages at this languishing hotel and casino. Employees have not been paid regularly since September 2010. Both local and federal officials were notified and they are completely informed of this egregious situation. In February 2010 the Rota DOL Office falsely claimed that the situation "had been taken care of".

Is there no local or federal agency in the CNMI capable of taking action to assist these workers to collect their back wages, and to prosecute these crooks?  How do officials charged with enforcing the law stand by and allow this happen to workers and their families?

Mr. Kishimoto Watanabe, the president of the Rota Hotel and Casino, reported that all Rota Hotel workers resigned. According to the employees, "He is a liar." The employees were told not to report to work after months and months of working without pay because there are no hotel guests. But the employees at the hotel said that they suspect that the management does not want to process CW-1 visas for the employees.

The hotel is scheduled to re-open in September and the unpaid workers are demanding that they be paid before it opens. Can the business licensed be suspended until back wages are paid? Can Watanabe be charged with theft?

Management has strung these innocent employees along for a year with lies that their pay would be coming soon. Over the last year employees were given some partial pay while continuing to work.  The hotel and casino owner, Mr. Watanabee has played the disappearing act since the financial failure of the business started. He is off-island in Japan most of the time reportedly trying to find tourists to gamble at the casino. (And the legislators think a casino will help Saipan?!)

Mayor Mendiola meeting with cheated workers of the Rota Hotel and Casino
The cheated foreign workers reported that over a month ago they met with Rota Mayor Melchor Mendiola in an attempt to get help in collecting their back pay which is over $57,000 for the 13 employees. One employee is owed $9,000.

A former employee stated, "Upon hearing our demands, the mayor called immediately Kishimoto Watanabe who was on the island that time."

Also at the meeting was Rota Municipal Council Chair George Hocog.

According to employees, during the meeting the employees asked the manager of the Rota Hotel, Kishimoto Watanabee, to  explain the unfair treatment of the hotel employees. Casino employees were given $ 400.00 a month allowance besides advances made to those casino employees who are taking vacations to Japan and Philippines, while the hotel employees received nothing. No explanation was given.

At the meeting the employees demanded payment in full.  Kishimoto Watanabee proposed giving the employees 10% of the total unpaid salaries to be payable monthly. The employees still don’t know when will the next payment will be.

An employee stated that there was never a discussion about the employees resigning.
Unpaid Rota Hotel foreign workers appeal for help.
A former employee that I spoke with today said that other Rota employers are letting foreign workers go because they don't want to deal with the CW-1 visas.

There is a report that the business will re-open on September 15, 2011. Before re-opening the employees expect and deserve to receive the full amount of wages that were stolen from them.


Anonymous said...

watanabe is playing right now in tinian dynasty..

an old wise man said...

This is awful as I knew a Casino on Rota was a loser and talking about it was foolishness.

Hopefiully federalization will help this problem....meaning workers working without pay hoping for a miracle.

The regs have pleased the big wigs on Saipan better than if they had written them for themselves because not many go home and the cap is so large that workers will remain 2nd class residents for our lifetime and will live in poverty.

Anonymous said...

no wonder why this company's have the guts of not paying their employees....government itself cannot implement their law's, not paying nurses their wage, delayed housing allowance, and well of course not releasing taxpayer's child tax check because it was not encoded yet on their system which in fact was submitted to them earlier than the tax deadline of submission, running after a computer tycoon which owed them 20 years ago but not running after the company's that owes them million of taxes but still on operation or maybe their still waiting for 20 years or more to collect it. how come this businesses can still operate and had been issued business license?

Anonymous said...

These guys can't even go home and start a business or retire because the creeps took their wages and they went through their savings. Where is the government intervention?

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