FSC cost cutting quizzed

THE National Union of Workers (NUW) has labelled recent claims by the Fiji Sugar Corporation that it reduced operational costs by 20 per cent by reducing overtime for workers as “scandalous”.

The sugar workers union has also called on the FSC to disclose how much it was paying senior executive staff who had recently been recruited.

After an FSC board meeting earlier this month, chairman Vishnu Mohan had said the cost reduction was brought about by improving discipline across the organisation and this included the clampdown on unnecessary overtime by mill workers.

NUW national secretary Felix Anthony said it was a pity that the workers who could least afford it were the first ones to be affected when the organisation faced financial issues.

“The first target are the workers who earn the least and who have over the last 11 years had their real wage decreased by more than 30 per cent because of no cost of living adjustments annually. These are workers who live from one pay day to another and earn poverty wages.

“I urge the CEO and his management team to seriously consider other options available to reduce cost,” he said.

Mr Anthony added that it was ironic that workers who earned very little were being made to forego overtime while the FSC continued to employ senior management staff on high salaries.

“We believe that FSC has too many management staff, not a necessity for a financially troubled company which should consider savings across the company and not just with workers.”

In response to questions sent by this newspaper, the FSC said it “does not respond to independent third party comments”.

“FSC enjoys a normal cordial relationship with our representative unions,” said FSC.

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