Thursday, June 04, 2009
Ready for crushing?
from Fiji Sun
Cane drivers want a resting place
Most cane lorries and tractor drivers in the northern division need a home at the Labasa mill to sleep in overnight while waiting in the queue.
Some come from remote farms with a rationed food supply for the day. In the cold and rain, they are attacked by mosquitoes. Some spend their time yarning in groups at the bus shelter while others sat under trees catching up on their sleep. On Tuesday the mill stopped crush and resumed yesterday afternoon. It stopped crushing again yesterday morning due to minor problems.
Vanua Levu Cane Milling Transport Union vice president Amirka Prasad said drivers had to sleep overnight on Wednesday as they could not leave their trucks and cane supply unattended to.
They have been left in the dark about times to report to the mill.
Mr Prasad said during the first few days into crushing, most drivers and growers were frustrated with the breakdown. Commissioner Northern Inia Seruiratu said mill operations were back on track. Mr Seruiratu said the Fiji Sugar Corporation experience a low supply of cane to the mill this week as growers watched the production process. He said growers must liaise with sector field officers on the mill operations.