Hundreds of Americans lost construction contracts worth roughly $14 million when a Chinese casino company smuggled 2,400 Chinese workers into the Northern Mariana Islands, which is a Pacific island chain under the control of the United States since 1898.
The Department of Labor announced a penalty March 5 against the Chinese company:
Investigators with the Department’s Wage and Hour Division determined that the foreign-based construction contractors paid their workforce less than the minimum wage and overtime pay required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Four China-based construction contractors – MCC International Saipan Ltd. Co., Beilida New Materials System Engineering Co. Ltd., Gold Mantis Construction Decoration, and Sino Great Wall International Engineering Co. LLC – have entered into formal agreements to pay $13,972,425 in back wages and liquidated damages to more than 2,400 [Chinese] employees …
“As the Department of Labor works to prevent visa fraud and abuse, this case represents an example of the Department’s strong commitment to protecting the American workforce by enforcing the law,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta.
The Mariana islands — including the islands of Saipan and Guam — were:
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