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Four Senior FSC Lautoka Executives Now Redundant

FSC paid out $900,000 in redundancy packages for these employees, who were deployed at the Rarawai and Lautoka Mills after the Penang Mill was completely destroyed by Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016.
16 Oct 2019 12:15
Four Senior FSC Lautoka Executives Now Redundant
Fiji Sugar Corporation chief executive officer Graham Clark.

Four of the Fiji Sugar Corporation’s top management staff from head office in Lautoka were made redundant by the company yesterday.

The move follows the redundancy of 82 former employees who were based at the now defunct Penang Mill in Rakiraki last month.

FSC paid out $900,000 in redundancy packages for these employees, who were deployed at the Rarawai and Lautoka Mills after the Penang Mill was completely destroyed by Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016.

What happened

Yesterday, FSC chief executive officer Graham Clark said the departure of four senior executives departure now meant there were only three general managers reporting directly to him as opposed to 13 when he first started three years ago.

“I cannot name these executives out of respect for them and their dignity,” Mr Clark said.

“It is a hard decision to make but at the end of the day I have been put in this position to make a profit for the company.

“When I started there were over 2000 employees in FSC now it’s down to around 1800.

“We have had to downsize as one of the cost cutting measures,” he said.

“We have finished with the downsizing at the mill level with Penang being the last and then we had to look at the head office also.”

Mr Clark said the work should continue with less numbers.

“We need to work harder and smarter,” he said.

“We have allocated the responsibilities around the remaining management staff otherwise we would not have made those positions redundant.

“Small changes have been made in responsibility lines and spread the load around so I am happy we have cover and good people to get the job done.”

Mr Clark said it was hard letting go of good management staff and people – it is hard alone to make one person redundant so it was hard to see the 82 workers from Penang Mill go.

“My job is to make the right decisions for the business to keep us going.”

Mr Clark said that meant making money and a profit.

About the financials

He said last year FSC took a step backward with a financial loss which followed a profit the year before, that after many years.

Many factors, Mr Clark added, contributed to rise in costs last year which included two cyclones, the packing up of the boiler at Rarawai Mill and a drop in world price for sugar.

“So we went from an $800,000 trading profit for 2017 to a loss of $3 million last year.

FSC’s Head of Strategic Communications Elenoa Korovulavula left the company yesterday.

“Just a formal advice that my last day here at FSC is tomorrow, Tuesday 15th October, 2019. I take this opportunity to thank you for the opportunity to work with you. Thank you both for your incredible support over the last two years,” Ms Korovulavula said.

Media communications would now be handled by Mr Clark and his Executive Assistant Sereima Sokidrau.

Ms Korovulavula said: “I am now taking a break for a bit and hopefully return to a communications role, sometime in the future.

“Until such a time I will have the good fortune to work with Fiji Sun team again, I wish you and your media all the best.”

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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