Film workers' union calls off strike at the last minute

Film workers' union calls off proposed strike after hammering out a compromise with producers over wage hike demands

The Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE), which had threatened to launch an indefinite strike over a stand-off with producer associations regarding a wage hike, withdrew its decision at the last minute. Kamlesh Pandey, who heads the film workers’ body, said that they reached a compromise yesterday over the percentage of wage increase, but did not divulge exact details of the agreement.

The FWICE had asked for a 50 per cent wage rise for members of all the 22 associations affiliated to them, but producer asociations opposed it tooth and nail. The demand came down to 15 per cent after a few rounds of negotiation, says its president Kamlesh Pandey. “Producers, who had initially offered only 10 per cent hike, finally offered 12.5 per cent increase in wages, but that was not acceptable to us,” he states, adding that the deadlock was finally broken late last evening after hours of debate and discussion.

Last week, the producer associations had moved the Bombay High Court challenging the strike. The court had ruled that the FWICE members cannot obstruct shoot schedules or stop producers from hiring their employees who wish to work.

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