Mumbai/Pune: The Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) has called off their strike on Wednesday.
Around one-and-half lakh workers had joined the strike for past two weeks.
Confirming the news, Birendra Nath Tiwari, President of FWICE said, “Labour Minister of Maharashtra Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar has given us assurance that they will discuss our demands and necessary steps will be taken. The federation members were supposed to meet the Labour Minister and others at the Mantralaya but because of heavy rains, the meeting was called off. We have been informed by the ministry that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has personally requested us to call off the strike. As a sign of respect, we have called off the strike.”
He added, “We have been given assurance that the meeting with the ministry will definitely take place after the situation in Mumbai becomes normal. They have maintained that if we are still unhappy with the final discussion we can continue with the strike. But for the time being, we will continue the shooting.”
Since the strike had started shooting of several TV serials and movies including Kaun Banega Crorepati season 9, Balaji Telefilms produced shows and others were cancelled. But industry insiders maintained that the shooting of most shows went on smoothly.
The strike was joined by the spot boys, technicians, junior artistes, cameramen, art-directors, set designers, style photographers, fight masters, make-up persons, dress suppliers besides others.
Tiwari added, “We haven’t demanded anything unethical or extraordinary. The things we demanded is our basic right.
We want an eight hours shift and if the producers demand they work further, it will be a non-bailable offence. We are ready to work for another four hours but we need extra money. We want proper bathroom and drinking water facilities and continue the MOU we had signed with the producers in 2015.
According to the MOU, the workers should get a minimum hike on wages for five years. We also want insurance for the workers.
On Tuesday, a lightman lost his life while shooting for Anushka Sharma’s Pari. The insurance shouldn’t be just the producer’s responsibility, the federation and union will also contribute.”
The federation members were supposed to meet the Labour Minister and others at the Mantralaya but because of heavy rains, the meeting was called off.