Photo: RNZ/Mark Rabago

SAIPAN, 11 NOVEMBER 2019 (MARIANAS VARIETY) — Eighty construction workers at Imperial Pacific International (IPI) in Saipan will leave the island starting today, Monday, after agreeing to resign last week.

Over 150 construction workers from Taiwan and 12 from Thailand were asked to resign prior to the January 2020 expiration of their H2-B visas.

Ching Tu Cheng, 25, a carpenter from Taiwan said he knew they were being asked to resign because they are “more expensive” than workers from Mongolia.

“I heard them saying, ‘Taiwan guys more expensive.’ They asked me to resign, I’m okay. I’d rather go back to Taiwan and find work there,” he told Marianas Variety.

He said IPI was paying him $22 per hour. He was told that the Mongolians will get $11 per hour.

Cheng said 200 of them were recruited from Taiwan about four months ago. Last week, he said, he and 156 others were asked to resign.

He and 79 others have signed the resignation letter and agreed to leave the island.

Cheng and others are scheduled to leave today, Monday, while the other workers are still waiting for their plane tickets.

He said they have received their last pay check. Some of them were seen lining up at Bank of Saipan on Friday to cash their checks.

Sunai Surasong, 53, a supervisor and one of the 12 Thai workers who were asked to resign said he is leaving on 25 Nov. He said he has no problem going home, but he wants to be on island for at least seven days more. (PACNEWS).