The Junior Artistes’ Association has threatened to go on strike from October 1 if producers fail to sign the memorandum of understanding (MOU) by this month-end. However, a confusion over the employees’ varied opinion about terms and conditions is understood as one of the reasons for the delay in inking the MoU, which expired on February 28. The association is one of the 22 affiliate unions of the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE).
While a member of the association cites wage issues as a reason for discontent among the cine employees, producers allege there is a vertical split in the federation. Mukesh Bhatt, president of Film and Television Producers Guild of India, says, “We had agreed to their demand for 13 per cent hike with the condition that they should not ask for higher remuneration for one-day outdoor shoots. But different people have different opinions. Those who support the producers can continue working and the rest should stop working.”
Raja Khan, a member of the federation, reveals, “The strike is not related to the extra fee, but because the producers have not signed the MoU yet.”
Dilip Pithva, general secretary of FWICE, rubbishes claims by a section of junior artistes that the federation was not backing them. “If they believe that we are not supporting them, I would only say that the federation will not support ideas which are not logical.”
He, however, adds that if producers do not sign the MoU by September 30, all bodies of the FWICE will boycott film and television show shoot from next month.