Workers Return To Work At FSC

The workers were sent on four months unpaid leave in April this year as the Corporation had to cut its costs in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
18 Jun 2020 10:37
Workers Return To Work At FSC
Fiji Sugar Corporation chief executive officer Graham Clark.

Some 130 workers of the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) are back at work.

The workers were sent on four months unpaid leave in April this year as the Corporation had to cut its costs in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

At that time FSC chief executive officer Graham Clark said the decision to send the workers on unpaid leave was not a permanent decision and this would be reviewed as the crushing season came close.

Pay cuts

At the same time pay cuts were implemented at FSC with 15 per cent for the senior management staff, seven per cent for the middle bracket staff and five per cent for those on the lower scale staff.

Yesterday Mr Clark said they had called back some of these workers, although he could not say exactly how many.

“We have brought them back based on the skills needed in different sections.

“There are those who still remained on unpaid leave and they would be recalled on the same basis.” he said.

More locomotives in service

Meanwhile on Tuesday announced that more locomotives were being readied to help transport freshly cut sugarcane into the Lautoka mill in a faster, more efficient manner throughout the 2020 crushing season.

Mr Clark said that major focus was put on providing more locomotives (locos) to farmers to help get the sugarcane to their respective mills, as part of FSC’s preparations for the season.

“Our aim is to have nine locomotives, with seven operational at any one time, and two as back- up locomotives,” FSC Lautoka Mill Manager, Leela Ramesh said.

“Currently, FSC has six locomotives ready to roll.”

The locomotives, also known as locos or sugarcane trains, are an important part of the supply chain for the mill according to Mr Ramesh.

“They help transport large loads of sugarcane to the mill and complement the work of the lorry drivers who also help deliver the cane directly to the mill for sugar production,” Mr Ramesh explained.

Ensuring Green sugarcane

“Ensuring that fresh green sugarcane is delivered to the mill in an efficient manner becomes even more important this year, as with the crop reduced by Tropical Cyclone Harold, the focus is on the quality cane production,” Mr Clark added.

“Fresh cane, with little extraneous matter, helps ensure that more sugar can be produced from each load of cane.”

Locomotive engineer

Mr Clark explained that a specialist locomotive engineer from Labasa has been working full-time on the locomotives to help ensure they are in good working order for the season.

Mr Ramesh said he was proud that three locomotives have passed the trials and are working perfectly, with another three expected to be ready before the Lautoka and Rarawai Mills open later this month.

The Lautoka Mill is due to open on June 24 and the Rarawai Mill the day before on June 23.


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