Coming out as a major jolt to the entertainment industry in Mumbai, more than 2,50,000 workers and employees have gone on an indefinite strike from August 15, demanding the redressal of various issues pending with producers.
On Thursday, the industry faced a complete shutdown not just at Film City, but apparently no shooting work is taking place in all of Mumbai. All the spot-boys, junior artistes and all the workers went on an indefinite strike, under the aegis of the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE).
Talking to a news agency, Birendra Nath Tiwari, FWICE President, said, “We are going on a strike with our long-pending demands. The workers are being made to work for over eight hours a day. There is a major issue of their safety. No provision has been made for the security of the workers.”
The demands put forth by the employees include:
a) Fixed 8 hrs shift (at present it gets dragged for more; sometimes over 20 hrs)
b) A fixed salary slab
c) Some sort of documentation/ employment contract
d) Safety, as shooting is always accident prone
Backing the strikes, FWICE President said that the workers had raised a similar demands in 2015 and were then assured by the producers that their increments would be raised by 13% in the first year.
Following the protest, around 300 workers have reached Girega film city and not allowing the shoot to take place.
These strikes have given out a huge impact on some of the ongoing projects. A few of the on-going projects which have been halted due to strikes are:
a) Big B’s ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ shoot
b) Bhansali’s directorial venture ‘Padmavati’
c) Shahu Rukh Khan-starrer Anand L Rai movie, where SRK is expected to play a dwarf
d) All daily soaps
The only question which arises here is how an industry worth hundreds of crores can pay ‘peanuts’ to the ones who have made it this big.