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Felix Chaudhary
Friday, August 15, 2014

LORRY drivers supplying the Rarawai mill in Ba went on an impromptu strike on Wednesday citing issues with the manner in which the Fiji Sugar Corporation was dealing with cane delivery.

The drivers refused to cart or unload cane at the factory until their concerns were resolved.

"Our members are concerned that lorry cane is being unloaded very slowly and sometimes, drivers stay in the mill yard from night until the morning," said Fiji Cane Lorry Operators Association national secretary Mukesh Prasad.

"We don't understand why lorry cane is being processed slowly and rail cane is processed fast.

"We had written to the FSC about this issue and when there was no response, the lorry operators decided to stop carting and unloading cane."

FSC executive chairman Abdul Khan met the disgruntled group yesterday and said the issue was merely a misunderstanding on the part of the truck drivers.

"They thought there was bias in terms of us processing rail cane ahead of lorry and when we showed them the actual data, the issue was resolved," Mr Khan said.

"I assured them that we give preference to lorry delivery because we do not want the drivers away from their families overnight."

Sugar Cane Growers Council CEO Sundresh Chetty said the truck drivers should have taken the correct course of action before deciding to stop work altogether.

Prominent Ba farmer Arun Sharma said the actions of the drivers had a negative impact on growers.

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