Mumbai, Aug 16 (IANS) An indefinite strike by cine employees has affected the smooth functioning of the film and television industries. However, several producers and actors continued to shoot amid tight police security.
The strike call, issued by the Federation of Western India Cine Employees from Tuesday, has got the support of 22 other cine unions, including those from other language film industries, said Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) President Birendra Nath Tiwari.
Those on strike include spot boys, junior artistes, technicians, cameramen, art directors, set designers, style photographers, stunt masters, make-up artistes, costume suppliers, et al, he said.
“We have already issued notices to the associations like Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association, Indian Film and TV Producers Council, Western India Film Producers Association, the Film and Television Producers Guild of India and the Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagari, or the famous Film City in Goregaon,” Tiwari said.
They have been informed that in view of the strike, no cine related work would be done and shooting schedules would have to be cancelled, both in studios and outdoors on locales.
FWICE union members are protesting outside the gate of the Film City here, to voice their demand for better pay, working hours, conditions and provision for their safety and security which are lacking.
Amidst all this, some shootings are shut, while some are on, say industry members.
According to a source from Sony Entertainment Channel, the shooting of “Kaun Banega Crorepati” and “The Kapil Sharma Show” were not happening on Wednesday in Film City, but work on “The Drama Company” was on at Filmistan Studio.
A source from Zee TV said the shootings have been going on amid “adequate police protection”.
TV show producer Rajan Shahi told IANS: “No shooting has been affected due to the strike. ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’ is being shot since 7 a.m. today (Wednesday). I am on the set. The entire unit is present on the set and we are shooting very smoothly.
“Not only our show, all other shootings happening in Mumbai are going smoothly. Around 15-20 shows’ shootings are happening in Film City.”
“Kya Qusoor Hai Amala Ka?” lead actress Pankhuri Awasthy also told IANS that the show’s shoot was on in Ellora Studio on Mira Road here.
Shahi said the police security is incredible as “they are protecting the workers and units which are shooting in Film City”.
“I don’t know who are these protestors. We ourselves are wondering who are these people who are protesting,” Shahi said.
Outside the gate, FWICE officials complained how producers are using the police to stop their “silent protest”.
“Our long-pending demand has been an eight-hour shift and any overtime with double payment per hour, security of service, proper food facilities and other basic requirements. However, the filmmakers have been consistently ignoring our demands,” Tiwari added.
Besides, he said the FWICE is pressing for signing a new agreement which includes provision for better and timely pay, job security, working conditions, fixed working hours and insurance, after the earlier agreement lapsed after five years in February 2017.
FWICE general secretary Dilip Pithwa said that presently, the workers work for upto 18 hours daily but their payments are released only after three-six months.
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