SUNBIZ

Staff Locked In Sugar Row

Police last night confirmed receipt of a report on the matter.
17 Aug 2021 13:36
Staff Locked In Sugar Row
The locked Rarawai Penang Cane Producers Association office in Ba on August 16,2021. Photo: Salote Qalubau

Some staff members of the Rarawai Penang Cane Producers Association were locked up in the office in Ba yesterday by an association representative.

Joe Cagi, of the Rakiraki District of Cane Producers Association said he chose to lock in the office amidst allegations of finances and sex-related incidences at the association office.

The association was to have convened its election of executive members this year, according to Mr Cagi, who initially extended the invitation for media coverage.

Instead, the office was locked from the outside, with some staff still inside.

Allegations over unfair  dismissal of some staff members also surfaced.

The elections was deferred until the association could meet with the COVID-19 protocols.

While association manager,  Navneet Chand, claimed police have been reeled into the fiasco, Mr Cagi maintained that he locked the office from the outside as part of his clean-up campaign.

Police last night confirmed receipt of a report on the matter.

The staff members were believed to have been released from the office at around midday, after police intervention.

“I just came to send away the manager and president,” Mr Cagi said.

Rakiraki District Cane Producers Association president, Joe Cagi (Left) and Tagitagi sector delegate Amit Chand in Ba on August 16, 2021. Photo: Salote Qalubau

Rakiraki District Cane Producers Association president, Joe Cagi (Left) and Tagitagi sector delegate Amit Chand in Ba on August 16, 2021. Photo: Salote Qalubau

“I have the manager’s termination letter.”

Mr Cagi said there  were around 7000 cane growers and 900 gangs from Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki in the Rarawai Penang Cane Producers Association.

Rarawai Penang Cane Producers Association president Jinendra Singh referred all queries to association manager, Navneet Chand.

Mr Chand maintained  the Fiji Sun did not have authorization to publish any information regarding the issue.

There are three associations of cane producers

  • Lautoka, which looks after cane farmers in Lautoka, Nadi and Sigatoka,
  • Rarawai, which looks after cane farmers in Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki, and
  • Labasa, which looks after the northern division.

These associations were initiated in 2013 by the Fiji Sugar Corporation, Sugar Industry Tribunal and the Sugarcane Growers Council

Cane farmers in Fiji through their respective cane producers’ association, received benefits for community and development projects in their sectors from sugar proceeds derived from sales under Fairtrade.

The idea behind the formation of the association was to help put more money in famers pockets.

Feedback:  salote.qalubau@fijisun.com.fj



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