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FSC’s Chandra: Have Faith In Our People

FSC’s Chandra: Have Faith In Our People
From Left: Fiji Sugar Corporation Labasa mill general manager Michael and his chief engineer Tevita Ravulo with FSC chief operating officer Navin Chandra inside Labasa mill on August 22,2018. Photo:Shratika Naidu
August 23
13:04 2018

Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) chief operating officer Navin Chandra says false claims made against the Labasa Mill will hurt its employees.

Mr Chandra made the comments in response to some lorry drivers claiming workers at the mill were intentionally stopping its operation.

In an interview at the mill yesterday, Mr Chandra said the allegations were false.

He said the claims were “unsubstantiated” and refused to address them.

“There are at least three generations of employees at the mill and for them FSC is their life,” Mr Chandra said.

“False claims will definitely hurt them and demoralise everybody. No one plans to come to work to stop the mill.”

Mr Chandra said the allegations were made after someone generalised the rumours of a few drivers.

“There are 440 lorry drivers and if one or two raise those concerns it doesn’t mean it is the total representation of the lot,” Mr Chandra said.

“We have to be very careful with the speculation that goes on. Someone to make unsubstantiated claims like that, I cannot look into that.”

On Friday, FSC reported Labasa mill had crushed over 6,056 tonnes of cane – a “season high.”

Concerns over mill stoppages have recurred throughout this year’s crushing period.

But Mr Chandra has said that FSC monitors and sustains developments at the mill.

“I believe when people come to work in the morning, they don’t come with the intention to break the mill. You have to have faith in our people,” he said.

“The mill is old and there will be breakdowns from time-to-time.

“We have been providing food when there is delay and our staff keep in contact with the workers, including lorry drivers on the ground to inform them whenever there is a delay.

“It is not that FSC workers are sitting in the office; they go out and meet farmers and drivers informing them what is happening and listening to their grievances.”

Shipment

Mr Chandra has confirmed there will be three back-to-back sugar shipments this year.

He said the first shipment was likely at the end of this month or early next month.

“The first shipment planned to load 35,000 tonnes of sugar from Fiji,” Mr Chandra said.

“26,000 tonnes of sugar from Labasa mill and the rest from other mills to Tate and Lyle.

“The second shipment will go to China and the third to United States.”

Mr Chandra said FSC has not decided when to conclude the crushing season at the Labasa mill. It is forecasted for the first week of November.

“We don’t want to see any farmer left behind or any cane left in the field,” he said.

“We are carrying out reviews on a daily basis to determine the closure of Labasa mill for this crushing season.”

Feedback:  shratikan@fijisun.com.fj

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